YouTube recently announced it would provide consumers with a paid music subscription service: YouTube Music Key for a promotional price of $7.99 a month, down $2 from $9.99. Currently the service is by invitation only and is in beta-mode. However, it’s the beginning of Google’s first real attempt in establishing itself in the middle of the music industry.
YouTube, which Google owns, is the world’s biggest streaming website. However, it’s not been real useful when people are looking for music to listen to on the go or whole albums. Google wants to ensure this doesn’t continue to happen. Here, relatively soon, visitors can look through curated playlists and whole discographies. And, there are three more perks people who pay for the service can get:
- No ads to contend with
- Watch videos without Internet
- Simultaneously use YouTube and other apps
Many streaming services may not be intimated by this latest move by Google. However, any person that subscribes to the new service will get a complimentary Google Play Music subscription, which should worry other music streaming services. Until recently, Google Play Music was known as Google Music Play All Access and was a competitor to Spotify. YouTube also offered Music Key, which was a straight to the point name.
Although Google’s streaming service has yet to garner much attention like its iTunes Store equivalent Google Play, YouTube may actually do so. In fact, it’s offering a service that’s $2 less a month than Spotify-plus (least in the beginning) and this could cause some music fans to switch service networks.
This certainly makes YouTube the Netflix of Music.
This news comes not long after Taylor Swift decided to pull her music off Spotify (not YouTube) and ridiculed streaming as being an experiment that fails to pay fairly to artists. While she may be correct, it’s still the big companies in charge and they still don’t care
It’s important to understand that streaming services like YouTube Music Key, Apple’s Beats Music and Spotify will live and die based on the major labels – Universal, Sony and Warner. If they choose not to sign the catalog rights over, then no service could survive. However, these companies have clearly decided the best way to stave off piracy is to work with a thriving streaming market such as Google’s YouTube Music Key. In fact, these record companies have signed deals with the YouTube and Beats despite them owning a good portion of Spotify.