We've been hearing rumors about Google's plan to launch a YouTube subscription service for ad-free playback and offline listening for a while, and now it apparently has a name. The service, called YouTube Key, follows a similar model to the Google Play All Access subscription service: for 9.99 USD you are given access to ads-free streaming of Google's full music catalogue. However, at the same time as Google is launching YouTube Key it will also re-launch Google Play Music and give it the new moniker Google Play Music Key.
So why have two music subscription services? The idea is that YouTube gives you access to all of the music beyond an artist's traditional back-catalogue. All of the live versions, covers and remixes (maybe even all of the user-uploaded material that breaches copyright) available on YouTube will become available to download for offline listening, and a subscription to either YouTube Key or Google Play Music Key will grant access to the other. That's right, despite being called different things, both give access to the other.
Just how much music will be available for users to listen to offline? Thanks to one of the images shared by Android Police, we know that Google has made more than 20 million high-quality tracks available, and will be introducing the subscription for free for the first 30 days. Those already subscribing to Google Play Music will, naturally, be unaffected by this introductory offer, as they will begin to receive the new content available from YouTube Key as soon as it's available.
Of course, none of this is confirmed, and could all change at a moment’s notice. We also don’t know when this rebrand launch party extravaganza will be happening, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated as we find out more.
What do you think of this new subscription plan? Is it enough to tear you away from Spotify?