A new report from Android Police shares the first specific details about the long-rumored YouTube-branded streaming music service from Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), indicating key differences from other streaming services.
According to the report, the subscription-based service will be called YouTube Music Key and will offer more than 20 million songs and videos that have been curated specifically for video-sharing site YouTube. The service, which Google hasn’t confirmed, is also reported to include ad-free music, offline playback, audio-only playback for off-screen listening, and a selection drawing from both YouTube and Play Music All Access (which will be renamed Google Play Music Key).
YouTube Music Key will be available for $9.99 a month, according to Android Police, a price comparable to what Spotify, Beats Music, and other major streaming services charge. Fans will still be able to simply visit YouTube and look up a new song, but YouTube Music Key will essentially give them access to a massive database of live and studio-recorded music offline, as well. The difference between this and Spotify, Re/Code pointed out, is that YouTube Music Key will also include fan-uploaded versions of songs, like dance remixes, for example, that other services aren’t licensed to provide.
“Which is probably the real reason YouTube thinks it will succeed: It won’t really be competing with other subscription music services at all, because most people aren’t using subscription music services,” Re/Code writer Peter Kafka explained. “Instead, it will be competing with 'free' – that is, with itself.”
No timetable has been reported for YouTube Music Key’s release.