YouTube unveils subscription service Music Key

Google has unveiled its two-pronged solution to music streaming.

A new subscription service is set to launch next week, accompanied by a revamped YouTube. The long-rumoured Music Key will introduced in beta mode next Monday, November 17, to “a limited group of people who play the most music on YouTube”, according to a company spokesperson.

The $9.99-a-month, ad-free service, which will expand to the public sometime in 2015, is aimed at mobile devices and allows you to play music while simultaneously using other apps. It also caches videos for offline playback.

Meanwhile, Google is working on a subtle revamp of YouTube after agreeing licensing deals with the three major labels and, just this week, hundreds of independent labels. The tweaked site has new features intended to help you find music and organise your favourites, but a video demonstration suggests the service “appeared to be no different from the YouTube app”, reports Billboard.

The whole thing will be far more organised, reflecting the way Spotify, Beats and other streaming services work, with tracks linked to artists and albums in a more streamlined way, with all those weird cover versions and lyric video eliminated. Which is a bit of a shame. They will also start placing advertisements on all non-video music.

It’s high time YouTube had a makeover, though – with all the fuss over Spotify lately, it’s easy to forget that Google’s website is by far the biggest streaming service in the world. [via Rolling Stone]

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