YouTube has finally unveiled its long-rumored subscription-based music service. YouTube Music Key will offer high-quality streaming of ad-free music and videos, background play and offline listening. In typical Google fashion, the announcement is a bit confusing but here’s what we know at this point.
Google is launching YouTube Music Key as a beta and will invite its “biggest music fans” first, starting next Monday. These early adopters will get to try the service out free for six months. After that, it’ll be offered at a discounted promotional price of $7.99 per month (down from the regular $9.99 rate).
There’s also a free, ad-supported version of Music Key, we’re told, for those that don’t want to pony up any money. What’s more, a Music Key subscription also gets you access to Google Play Music, the search giant’s traditional streaming music outfit with more than 30 million songs on tap (and vice-versa.)
At some point later (early 2015 perhaps), Google will open YouTube Music Key up for all. It’ll initially be available to those in the US, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK.
The obvious value here is access to music videos. While many are only interested in the audio, there’s a large portion of YouTube’s user base that’s also interested in videos – namely, teens.
Those interested in giving Music Pass a try can submit their e-mail address for beta invite consideration.