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"Music Pass" in Android YouTube app hints at Google's music subscription service

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November 27
9:05 PM 2013

Speculations that tech giant Google is planning to roll out a YouTube music subscription service have been around for some time. However, it seems that proof of those rumors is finally starting to manifest itself in the Android YouTube app.

In their APK Teardown, Android Police found that version 5.3 of the app showed framework elements for a possible YouTube subscription service. These elements include "Uninterrupted Playback," background music listening and offline video mode, Android Police reported.

In addition, references were also found to something called "Music Pass." A file called music_upsell_dialog.xml was found to lead to the elements mentioned above as well as one that led to "no ads on millions of songs." For Android Police, this string looked like it is going to be a part of a paid service. The line "no ads on millions of songs" seemed particularly interesting for Android Police.

The APK Teardown said, "It's likely that Google needed to negotiate the rights for the YouTube Music Pass service separately from Google Play Music since music videos are legally and commercially distinct from their songs. So does that mean that the service is truly ad-free, or that a portion of the songs and/or music videos on offer will have ads that further benefit the music labels? There's no way to know at the moment."

When Gigaom asked YouTube about the report, their spokesperson said there was nothing to announce at this time. The spokesperson did say that YouTube is always working on new and better ways to enable people to enjoy their content on all screens as well as giving more opportunities to their partners to reach their audiences.

According to the Gigaom report, it made sense for Google to sell music subscriptions through YouTube. This was because the video platform is already the most well-known music service around globe.

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