YouTube to Launch New Service “Music Key” Added: Friday, November 28th, 2014
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YouTube is planning to launch a new streaming music service called YouTube Music Key, which will offer a mixture of audio and video streams. The content offered by the service will include full albums from artists signed to all 3 major labels, along with hundreds of independent labels.
Google revealed that the service would be available in both free and paid versions. The free version will be funded by advertising, while the paid one will cost around $9.99 per month. The rumors are that the early adopters of the service may get their first 6 months for free, and then use it at a discounted rate. The company also confirmed that Music Key would sit alongside Google’s existing music service, Google Play Music All Access. In other words, if you subscribe for paid version of Music Key, you will also get an All Access subscription, and vice versa.
Google launched a 6-month trial in 7 countries thus far: the UK, the US, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Finland and Ireland. Apparently, the service in beta will be invitation-only and focus on heavy music-video viewers on YouTube at the first place.
It is known that YouTube Music Key will initially be available through YouTube’s applications for Android and iOS and on its website, though the emphasis will be made on mobile. Google explained that paying subscribers would be allowed to download songs and videos to their mobile devices and listen to them in the background. Its biggest rival is Spotify, accounting for 50 million active users, of which 25% are paying subscribers. Music Key will also compete with Deezer, Rdio, Rhapsody and its European brand Napster, and Apple-owned Beats Music, which has yet to launch outside the United States. It should be mentioned that Amazon also has a streaming service as part of its membership scheme.
It is also known that YouTube shares Spotify’s policy and insists that catalogues in the service must be available to both free and paying users. However, this point of view seemed controversial to some artists, including Taylor Swift, who decided to remove her entire back catalogue from Spotify a few days ago.
However, even before its official start, YouTube’s new streaming service has already ignited arguments within the music industry. For example, indie labels complained that Google offered them worse terms than to major labels.
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Friday, November 28th, 2014
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