YouTube have officially announced the launch of its highly-anticipated subscription music streaming service.
We’ve known about the service, called ‘YouTube Music Key’ for a while now. However, its launch was delayed by ongoing negotiations with an alliance of indie record labels that felt they were being bullied into signing their streaming rights over to Google.
Now it seems those differences have finally been resolved, as Music Key has officially launched as an invite-only beta. Users willing to test the service will get six months of free streaming before being eligible for a promotional subscription price of just $7.99 per month. The regular price once its released to the wider public in early 2015 will be $9.99, the same as Spotify.
The service offers full album streams, as well as offline listening/viewing. A Music Key subscription will also include access to Google Play Music, which offers an additional 30+ million songs to stream on top of YouTube’s new offering.
The service will only be available in The U.S., U.K., Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Finland at launch; with additional countries expected to roll out over the coming months.
To prepare of the launch, YouTube introduced a new music homepage that rearranges the the mess of songs on YouTube into convenient playlists and album listings; completely reorganizing how music is available on the site.
YouTube is already recognized as the largest streaming music platform on the web. Now, it seems, they’re looking to take monetizing their position to new heights with YouTube Music Key.