tech2 News StaffAug 19, 2014 12:41:13 IST
Google is preparing to kill popular music streaming services such as Spotify, Rdio and Beats Music with yet another subscription service: YouTube Music Key. While rumours about YouTube's paid subscription service have been doing rounds for almost a year now, Android Police's post brings us more concrete information than ever before.
According to the blog post, YouTube Music Key will offer offline audio and video playback and ad-free audio playback. There's an 'Audio-only mode', which allows users to listen to music off-screen or listen in the background while using other apps. It's uncertain if and how YouTube plans to play offline videos with ads. New users can get a 30-day free trial, thereafter there's a subscription fee of $9.99 per month. This is the same fee associated with popular music subscription services including Google's existing Google Play Music All Access service.
It's a great move, but how is it different from existing music-subscription services such as Beats Music and Spotify that also offer ad-free, offline playback?
Other than offline videos, one of the major advantages of YouTube Music Key is that it will offer access not only to full artist catalogues, but concert footage and remixes as well. If that's not enough, YouTube Music Key's platform will apparently make it easier to add content and discover users. Luckily for Google Play Music subscribers, Google will allow automatic access to YouTube Music Key while rebranding the existing service to Google Music Key. However, there might be a discounted fee involved for accessing YouTube Music Key features.
While it's an exciting service, the official launch will depend on how Google tackles some key hurdles in its way. YouTube carries content owned by third-parties such as music labels, so it will have to split its revenue with content owners. As of now, there's no news on how Google plans to compensate those who own content on YouTube. Also, having a base built by free subscriptions it would be difficult finding people who are willing to pay for videos in addition to TV channels.
Availability also remains a key issue in making Music Key more widespread. As of now, Google Play Music is available only in 34 countries, while Spotify reaches out to over 60 countries, though neither are present in India.
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