Soon, everyone will have access to YouTube's paid music service

Music Key

Google will launch its paid monthly Music Key subscription service, which will allow users access to music videos on YouTube without ads, in a few months time.

Music Key, which is currently in beta testing, is the same service as Google's music streaming service. Sometimes called Google Play Music and sometimes known as All Access, it's the search giant's version of Spotify, and very good it is too.

Music Key will offer most of the same features. Crucially, and something that has been missing from the YouTube app for too long, is the ability to switch your phone's screen off and carry on listening to audio. This is very important if Music Key is to be accepted as an alternative to Play Music.

When speaking about it at Re/Code's conference Code/Media Robert Kyncl said: "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". Which basically means, we're not changing anything, but letting people pay for a better experience.

As said, Music Key isn't an alternative to Play Music, it's the same service. If you subscribe to one, you'll get the other included. And what's more, many Play Music subscribers will note they can already see music videos in the Music app. And it's quite nicely designed too, because you can switch over to a video without having to start the track again.

Like Play Music though, users will be able to download music videos and playlists for use offline. Another great feature for those who want to watch videos while they're on the tube, or if they are running low on their data allowance.

Artist upset

Music Key hasn't been without its controversy either, with Zoe Keating claiming that Google told her she'd have to licence her music for Music Key, and if she didn't then they would prevent her from monetizing her videos using Content ID - Google's service which allows her to track who is using her songs, and get a cut of the ad revenue.

In fact, Google says that's not the case, and that artists will be able to control who uses their music, but not make money from it.

Even so, for the youngsters music videos are far more relevant than simple music streaming, so it's quite likely the service will be popular among those who can afford it.

There will be an introductory offer of £7.99/$7.99 and anyone who signs up will get to keep that price. The full price later will be £9.99/$9.99 - as with Google Play Music.

Via Reuters