Head of YouTube Music Steps Down, Google Scrambles To Launch Pay Subscription Service
YouTube has just thrown yet another wrench in Google's plan to launch a paid music- subscription service.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chris LaRosa, YouTube's product manager in charge of music, will be leaving the company by week's end.
LaRosa will reportedly join an unidentified start-up. This marks the second YouTube head of music to split in the past year.
Nikhil Chandhok left last fall as director in charge of music, paid subscriptions and live streaming.
THR reports that both departures stem from frustrations at YouTube's inability to launch its music subscription service after the first version had been developed.
YouTube has not been able to agree on which features the company should charge to use, and how the service should be integrated with the rest of the popular video site.
The paid version's features include no advertising, the ability to continue playing music when users switch to other apps, and storing music for limited offline listening.
Google Play Music All Access users are expected to be able to use YouTube's service as well.
Although music licensing disputes have yet to be resolved, Google remains adamant about launching its service in the next few months.
YouTube's existing license agreements, signed with major record labels in late 2012, reportedly require the company to launch a successful paid music service.
Music labels have expressed concern that YouTube's free service could pose a threat to paid outlets such as Spotify, which recently announced it had passed the 11 million paying subscribers mark worldwide.
As WSJ reports, some independent labels have also complained that YouTube is pushing for cut-rate licensing deals with them and have refused to sign on, causing another rift.
LaRosa's successor has not been named, and it is unclear who at Google will take over the reins in the interim.