Google finally debuts its YouTube streaming app!

YouTube Music Key is Google's second music streaming app after launching All Access last year

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
November 12, 2014
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How long has Google been planning on launching a YouTube music streaming service? It feels like a really long time. In fact, it was actually supposed to come out last year, before it was postponed due to unhappiness over the product and it reportedly not being ready for launch.

Well, whatever kinks were holding it up until now seem to have finally been ironed out, because the service is finally here!

Called YouTube Music Key, an launching in beta, the service offers users three features to start off: music that is free from ads, the ability to play music in the background of a phone and the ability to watch music videos offline.

It will cost $9.99 a month, with a promo price of $7.99. It's also allowing users to try it for free for six months. 

"Thanks to your music videos, remixes, covers, and more, you’ve made YouTube the biggest music service on the planet. 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," the company wrote.

Here's the interesting/confusing part of all of this: as a part of the subscription to YouTube Music Key, users will also get a subscription to Google's other music streaming service, Google Play Music All Access, which was unveiled last May.

That service costs $9.99 a month, and includes over 30 million songs. Oh, and it will also soon give users "the ability to watch many YouTube official music videos right from the app." Cool... wait, what?

Ok, so let me make sure I've got this straight. Google already has a music streaming app. It has now launched a new, separate service, one that costs the same and gives users access to the first app as well. At the same time, it is incorporating some of the features from the new app into the old one.

Can someone tell me what I'm missing here? What exactly is the difference between these two apps? I would understand if the YouTube app had a stronger emphasis on video, but that's not really the case if All Access is also getting the same feature.

Wouldn't it just have been easier to release one music subscription app, which included video? I'm also not sure, from my own personal standpoint, how much I care about watching music videos on the go, or about paying for YouTube videos to be ads-free. Perhaps if Google makes it clearer how the two apps differentiate from each other, it will be easier for me to get excited over this,

Also, I'm frankly a little afraid now that YouTube might over do it with the ads for non-premium members, perhaps in an effort to get them to switch to the ads-free version. Let's hope it does not decide to go that route!

The new streaming service wasn't the only announcement made on the music front: it was also revealed that users will be able to find artist’s discography on YouTube, and then "play a full album with both their official music videos and high-quality songs our music partners added to YouTube."

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