It was only a matter of time, but YouTube is officially launching its own streaming music subscription service next week to take on the stock of existing options like Spotify, Rdio, iTunes Radio, and Pandora.
The service will be called YouTube Music Key, and as you may have guessed, the service revolves around streaming music videos rather than just music itself, but it still uses many of the awesome features from other streaming music services, like offline play, background listening, and an ad-free experience.
YouTube Music Key will first launch in beta mode, where those who request and receive an invite will be able to try out the service and pay an introductory $7.99 per month, with a regular $9.99 per month fee for regular users.
Plus, YouTube Music Key will come with a full-blown subscription to Google Play Music, which is already a top-notch music streaming service by itself, so the addition of YouTube Music Key essentially makes it more feature-filled than competing music streaming services that are out there.
In addition to this new music streaming service by YouTube, the company has updated its YouTube app on iOS and Android, as well as its web interface to showcase more music on the home page. You’ll see your “favorite music videos, recommended music playlists based on what you’re into and playlists of trending music across YouTube.”
You can also “find a playlist to perfectly fit your mood, whether that’s a morning motivators playlist or Boyce Avenue YouTube Mix.”
Furthermore, you’ll soon be able to see an artist’s discography on YouTube when you play one of their music videos, and can play the full album with both their official music videos and high-quality song. This feature only applies to music labels that YouTube has partnered with, so you won’t see it for every single song that exists, but many of the popular songs and albums will come with this feature in the next few days.
We’ve heard a few rumors about this new endeavor from YouTube, dating back to August when we saw some leaks. And just last month we got confirmation from a YouTube exec saying that we’d see a paid YouTube service shortly.
This is the first time that YouTube is offering the option for users to go entirely ad-free, and we can see that being a huge feature that many users will take advantage of, even if they had to pay for the privilege. Of course, you could just enable AdBlock, but that still doesn’t block out all ads. Plus, YouTube Music Key comes with a subscription to Google Play Music, which is the real kicker and could be the feature that actually gets people to sign up for the new service, even if they do have AdBlock enabled.
Over the last few years, YouTube has added more and more ways for content producers to place ads in their videos, from banner pop-ups that appear at the bottom of videos, to entire commercials that play before the actual content. Users, of course, aren’t huge fans of ads, so it seems YouTube is trying to find ways to keep revenue coming in but without having to plaster more and more ads into videos.