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Music Key Debuts: YouTube Lets Subscribers Stream 30M Songs

Image: Music Key Debuts: YouTube Lets Subscribers Stream 30M Songs
People are silhouetted as they pose with mobile devices in front of a screen projected with a Youtube logo. (Dado Ruvic/Reuters/Landov, file)  

By    |   Thursday, 13 Nov 2014 07:12 AM

YouTube's Music Key subscription service debuts Monday for select invitees, offering streaming access to 30 million songs from top musicians.

According to Time magazine, the $10-a-month service functions similarly to Spotify and Beats Music, which are to music as Netflix is to movies and television. Like its competitors, Music Key will work from desktop computers as well as through the YouTube app on mobile devices.

Unlike Spotify and Beats Music, however, which rely on a user interface and functionality reminiscent of iTunes, Music Key looks just like the old familiar YouTube — albeit with a small "Music" tab at the top of the page. Before Music Key, users could often find single songs but not full albums on YouTube, but all of that has now changed, and now some artists have not only full albums on the platform, but full discographies too.

One differentiating factor that could become a huge advantage for Music Key is YouTube's vast wealth of artist interviews, concert clips, and other official content related to musicians and their songs. That's not to even mention the plethora of user submitted content, like covers, parodies, and remixes, which form even deeper constellations around songs. These goodies aren't available on Spotify and Beats Music, and it's difficult to see them ever becoming so. That means that music fans are likely to come to YouTube Music Key to listen to their favorite music, and stay for all the related content.

Features like this could make the difference as sales of MP3s continue to decline on platforms like iTunes, and music lovers flock to all-you-can-eat streaming services.

Spotify recently announced that it has topped 12.5 million paying subscribers, with tens of millions more listening for free in its ad-supported listening mode. Beats Music doesn't boast as many paying subscribers, but industry insiders speculate it will soon replace iTunes as Apple's primary music offering.

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YouTube's Music Key subscription service debuts Monday for select invitees, offering streaming access to 30 million songs from top musicians.
music, key, debuts, youtube
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2014-12-13
Thursday, 13 Nov 2014 07:12 AM
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