YouTube Introduces a Paid Service Called Music Key
J Thoendell stashed this in Music
Music Key will become available in the coming days to users in the United States, Britain and a handful of other European countries. Following Google’s preferred pattern of introducing new products through “beta” testing, the service will at first be available by invitation only and is expected to be offered to all users by next year. For the first six months, access will be free and then go up to $7.99. The charge will be $9.99 for people who are not invited but sign up next year.
YouTube has charged for access to some content before, including a small number of special channels. But this is the first time that the site has instituted such a broad payment plan across the site, and for Google it is partly a test of the subscription model itself, something that its executives have said the company is considering generally as an addition to its free offerings.
As part of the introduction of Music Key, YouTube’s music catalog is getting a makeover for all users, paying or not. The site will now offer complete albums, adding static video files with high-quality audio where no official videos are available. For paying subscribers, YouTube will add two features that will be especially attractive to users on mobile devices: the ability to play songs in the background while using other apps and to save songs for offline listening.
As a bonus, paying users will also get Google Play Music, the on-demand audio service that has been Google’s main competitor to Spotify. (As part of the change, that service will change its name from the rather unwieldy Google Play Music All Access.)
By adding Google Play Music, this is YouTube's version of Amazon Prime.
I'm still not sure how this is working in an Apple Music world.