Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Google's new subscription music service will reportedly be called 'YouTube Music Key'


Nathan Ingraham/The Verge

Google has been rumored to launch a YouTube-branded subscription music service for months now, and we're getting a big look at what it might entail when it finally launches. Android Police is reporting that the service will be called YouTube Music Key, which will offer ad-free playback, the ability to save songs and videos for offline listening, and an audio-only interface for when you're multitasking or want to have music on in the background, all for $9.99 per month.

It sounds like basically every other streaming music service out there, including Google's already-established Google Play All Access service — but at the same time as YouTube Music Key launches, Google is expected to rebrand its current offering to Google Play Music Key. It's not the best name we've ever heard, but it has a better ring to it than the current offering. It also sounds like a single $9.99 monthly subscription will include access to both the Google Play and YouTube music services.


While it does seem like there will be substantial overlaps in feature sets between the two services, Android Police claims that YouTube Music Key will be a place where users can find lots of music beyond an artist's official discography, including concert footage, remixes, covers, and more. As YouTube is already known as a place where users can find rare or unusual music, it makes sense that Google's paid service will include access to songs that go beyond the norm.

It's been a long road for YouTube, which already offers the largest ad-supported music streaming service in the world (albeit on a platform designed for video first). In late 2013, news broke that Google would delay the YouTube subscription service until sometime in 2014, and a report this past April claimed that the company was pushing it back further to focus on design work. YouTube boss Susan Wojcicki is also said to have slowed down the process — she's gotten more hands-on with YouTube's products since she took over earlier this year. There's still no word on exactly when YouTube Music Key might launch, however — Android Police didn't have any insight into when the service will be ready. There are plenty more screenshots over at Android Police that show what the service might look like, however.

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