YouTube has finally confirmed the long-awaited music streaming service and plans to launch it in beta over the coming days.
For £7.99/$7.99 a month (promotional price, usually $/£9.99), YouTube Music Key will be an ad-free streaming service allowing users to store music videos for offline viewing. Users will be able to play music in the background, while using other apps, and also when the screen is locked.
The beta will be available to YouTube’s “biggest fans first” first and the company will be inviting users to try for six months as it irons out the kinks.
“Thanks to your music videos, remixes, covers, and more, you’ve made YouTube the biggest music service on the planet,” the firm said on its official blog.
“To turn YouTube into your perfect music service, we’re launching YouTube Music Key as a beta with our biggest music fans first, and then we’ll bring YouTube Music Key to the whole world together. So, if you see an invite in your app or email, try it out for six months for free.”
As a bonus, YouTube Music Key subscribers will get free access to the Google Play Music streaming service (usually a tenner a month) with 30 million songs.
Elsewhere YouTube has also announced a new Music tab for its mobile app and website.
The Music tab will show users’ favourite videos, recommended playlists, trending music and content from subscribed channels. That’ll be free to access for all users.
Finally, YouTube has finally made it easy to play full albums rather than single songs. Artists' discographies will appear on YouTube with official videos supplemented by high-quality songs.
YouTube says it will be “easy on the bandwidth,” but all of those videos will surely take their toll on users without much mobile data to spend.