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YouTube’s subscription music plans suffer another setback as head of music leaves – again


Frustrations over delays in launching YouTube’s long-awaited subscription-based music service are the reason the company has just lost its second head of music in less than a year, reports the WSJ.

Chris LaRosa, YouTube’s product manager in charge of music, will be leaving Google this Friday to join a startup. A YouTube spokesman confirmed LaRosa’s departure but didn’t say which startup LaRosa would be joining.

We’ve been hearing rumors about YouTube’s plans to launch the service since last October – the rumors then suggesting it would launch that year. Then it was going to be the first quarter this year. And then the second quarter – which just ended, still with no sign of the service nearing launch …

YouTube’s former director in charge of music, paid subscriptions and live streaming, Nikhil Chandhok, left last fall.

The WSJ cites a source as saying the delays are due to disagreements over, well, just about everything.

Those delays have resulted from internal arguments about how the service should be designed, including what features YouTube should charge users for and how the service should be integrated with the rest of YouTube.

Music licensing deals are also said to be proving slow going, with some existing licenses contingent on YouTube launching the service, and other labels refusing to agree the “cut-rate” deals they have been offered.

The subscription service, when it finally launches, is set to compete with services like Spotify by offering ad-free listening and viewing, together with limited off-line listening.

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