YouTube is reportedly almost ready to go with a "premium, on-demand music service." The idea is that it will be a video streaming site aimed at mobile users, with both free and premium versions.
With the free version, according to Billboard, you'll get a catalog of tunes. Pay up and you can get unlimited access to a bigger choice of tracks (think Google's All Access subscription music service) plus the ability to cache music and do away with the advertising. But it seems that the money they stand to make from the Premium version is more of a by-product of what the real prize is: mobile advertising revenue.
YouTube's mobile platform is doing rather well, as we saw from Google's Q3 earnings call earlier this week. (To replay: Mobile traffic now accounts for 40% of YouTube's hits.) The site claimed earlier this year that it has one billion active users each month--a figure that should be approached with some caution.
The firm's already pushing ahead with its plans to allow YouTube channel creators to charge viewers a monthly subscription fee, rolling out a pilot program to other territories worldwide. And in 10 days' time, we will see the video site's inaugural awards ceremony, the YouTube Music Awards.
[Image: Flickr user garryknight]