We've heard quite a bit about YouTube's rumored music service throughout the year, but now it may be at least a little longer until it actually launches. We first heard that YouTube was planning such a service in March, and back then, sources supposedly close to the project were talking of a summer release. Summer came and went without any big announcements from YouTube, and then in October we heard that the service would still be up and running by the end of 2013. Now, AllThingsD is reporting that YouTube has hit yet another setback and isn't planning a launch until Q1 2014.
Keep in mind, none of these release windows (and subsequent delays) have been confirmed by YouTube, so all of this information has been speculation so far. That doesn't necessarily mean there hasn't been evidence of an incoming streaming service, though. It was just a few days ago that a section of code in the latest version of the YouTube mobile app revealed something called Music Pass. While it doesn't take much imagination to guess what this could be, all signs are pointed toward a subscription based music service.
So, it certainly seems like Google is plotting something, but according to AllThingsD, the company isn't satisfied with the product yet. While Google has secured the licenses it needs to move forward, it apparently isn't sure how to integrate things like mash-ups made by YouTube users other than the original artist. Naturally, Google doesn't want to make any YouTube content producers upset, so it's important that the company looks at a music streaming service from every possible angle before launching.
At this point, it seems like such a service is essentially a given. YouTube is technically the largest music site on the Internet, and with the success of other services like Pandora and Spotify, there's even more incentive for it to launch something similar. Its largest competition in the space, Spotify, has millions of monthly users already, but we have a feeling that YouTube could close the gap and perhaps even surpass Spotify's numbers in a very short time frame. For its part, however, YouTube is still isn't saying anything about the rumors, so it looks like we'll have to wait until the service is closer to completion before we get any official details. Stay tuned.