The paid music subscription service currently in beta is still months away from launch.
Youtube launched the YouTube Music Key Service as beta in November. YouTube Music Key is a monthly subscription service starting with the promotional price of $7.99/month (discounted from $9.99/month) that will give consumers ads-free music, background play and offline viewing. Youtube Music Key also includes a subscription to Google Play Music, with 30+ million songs, expert-curated playlists, and in the coming days, the ability to watch many YouTube official music videos right from the app.
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The YouTube Music Key beta is by invitation only. Robert Kyncl, Youtube's online video service's head of content and business operation said at the Code/Media conference that the Youtube Music service will launch in a few months.
"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 said according to a Reuters report.
Youtube has a huge user base. A paid music service will find its customers to make the service a viable revenue stream for the online video platform.
While the consumer side of the Youtube Music Key is free of controversy, the supply side is not. Youtube has started to "force" artists in signing up with Youtube Music Key. Youtube wants to bundle all monetation of music content through Music Key. Not all artists like this all or nothing approach. There is also still a lot of confusion about what the Youtube Music Key contracts require from artists as outlined in this recent report on Billboard.
The long beta period of the Youtube Music Key service is likely dominated by issues around the content and artist relationships and less about technology.