Google Readies YouTube Music Service

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Spotify watch out, as Google readies the launch of its YouTube subscription music service

Google is about to throw the musical gauntlet down to Spotify, with the imminent arrival of its monthly music subscription service.

The long-awaited service, called YouTube Music Key, will launch in a couple of months, according to Robert Kyncl, head of content and business operations, speaking at the Code/Media conference.

Oflline Music

The beta version of the service is already being tested and is available by invitation, Kyncl was quoted as saying by Reuters.

“There is a subset of audience who wants more things so they are used to paying for those. We don’t think it changes anything for existing users,” Kyncl reportedly said.

Google revealed late last year that the subscription cost for the advert-free service would start at $7.99 (£5.18) per month. It would also allow customers to watch music videos offline and indeed listen to music offline.

Users can also listen to music in the background, even if the user’s phone is locked or other apps are being used.

The addition of the subscription music service will apparently not change or affect the current YouTube offerings. Google of course already has its Google Play music download service. However, YouTube Music Key users will gain an account with Google’s existing streaming service Play Music All Access bundled in.

Gibson guitar rock and roll music © Theophan Konstantinov ShutterstockSo should rivals such as Spotify, Pandora, Rdio by worried by the arrival of YouTube Music Key? Well yes, because YouTube has a significant uploader community, who will be able to upload rare content, such as unique mixes, bootleg recordings (copyright issues aside) and artists playing at live gigs.

And Google will be able to draw on both the content in YouTube and its Play Store to possibly offer the most complete music offering in the world.

Music Battles

In May this year YouTube will turn ten years old, as it was launched in May 2005 as a video-sharing website where people could post their creative works and watch to see if they gained any footholds. YouTube’s popularity since then has been huge, but it is worth noting that Google does face challenges in the music sector.

Apple for example late last year revealed that all Apple iPhones and iPads will receive the Beats subscription music service during this year.

That came after Apple paid $3bn (£1.8bn) for the maker of the popular Beats headphones and other audio equipment. That purchase of Beats Electronics gave Apple the subscription streaming music service, known as Beats Music.

And now it seems that Apple may bundle the Beats Music subscription service into an iOS update this year.

Other less conventional rivals includes Twitter, with its new ‘audio card’, which will allow users to play music, podcasts, and other audio direct from their timelines.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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