YouTube Music Key: Google’s New Subscription Service

The Internet’s powerhouse of online video is preparing to launch its very own music streaming service called YouTube Music Key. Although they haven’t announced an official release date yet, analysts have already began to express both hopes and concerns for the service. Here’s a couple things to consider:
1. It could have access to diverse content. On average, YouTube is filled with 100 hours of content per minute. In terms of music, consider the number of originals, performances, covers, remixes, and mixes on YouTube. Music Key users could be able to access content that’s currently unavailable through competing services such as Spotify and Beats Music.
2. It could have attractive new features. Google owns YouTube, VEVO, Google Play Music, and Songza. Nothing is set in stone but Music Key might combine features from all four of these platforms, which could make it Google’s premier streaming service. Possible features include access to professionally curated playlists, the ability to create and share your own playlists, interactive and intelligent recommendation systems, and a fusion between high-quality audio and video content.
3. It won’t be free. YouTube has never charged users to watch or upload content. However, it’s been rumored that Music Key will cost $9.99 per month for its ad-free service. The big question is: how many YouTube users will be inclined to pay for the experience, albeit improved, after using YouTube for free for so many years?
4. It could be an attempt at appease labels. YouTube is currently the preferred music service for those 18 and younger so why would they release a new streaming service? Well, Google has been working closely with the music industry for years and wants to continue doing so. In order to legally upload music to YouTube, the company needs permission from labels and other rights holders. With labels eager to find new revenue streams, some analysts believe that Google is introducing Music Key in an effort to maintain a healthy relationship with the music industry. After all, the company has enough cash to develop a new service, split revenues with its music partners, and survive even if the service fails.
Related: SoundCloud Introduces Advertising for the First Time