Following recent rumors, Google on Wednesday announced YouTube Music Key, an upgrade of its music offerings that will include higher-quality audio and also give its users the option of paying $7.99 a month for extra features.
YouTube Music Key beta is a monthly subscription service starting with the promotional price of $7.99/month (discounted from $9.99/month) that will give you ads-free music, background play and offline viewing. It will also include a subscription to Google Play Music, with 30+ million songs, playlists, and in the coming days, the ability to watch many YouTube official music videos right from the app.
YouTube has signed up the big recording labels: Vivendi SA’s Universal Music and EMI Group, Sony’s music business and Warner Music Group. There are also independent providers, the company said.
Google is launching YouTube Music Key as a beta to a limited audience first (invitation only) in the United States, Britain and a handful of other European countries. It will be offered to all users by next year.
In addition, Youtube is making it easier to find new music. Starting today, you’ll see a new home just for music on your YouTube app for Android, iOS and on YouTube.com that shows your favorite music videos, recommended music playlists based on what you’re into and playlists of trending music across YouTube. You can find a playlist to fit your mood. Check out the newest songs from channels you subscribe to, or quickly find the songs you’ve played over and over and over again.
In addition, in the coming days, you'll be able to see an artist’s discography on YouTube, and play a full album with both their official music videos and high-quality songs Youtube's music partners have added to YouTube.
Google is investing in mobile entertainment options as it works to drive revenue beyond its search-engine business.
Apple has also agreed to pay $3 billion to buy headphones and streaming-music service Beats Electronics LLC in May. Other important players in the music streaming industry include Pandora and Spotify.