August 18, 2014 6:25pm
YouTube has a lot of music, perhaps more than any other streaming music service on the internet. But in its current state, it is littered with content of questionable quality and value, is plugged with ads, and lacks offline and background listening. In other words, it’s not an ideal format for most mobile listeners.
According to Android Police, Google is set to add a subscription layer to YouTube called YouTube Music Key, adding 30-day offline mode, ad-free and background playback for $9.99/month. At the same time, Play Music All Access is set to be rebranded to Play Music Key.
The information obtained by AP intimates that Google will allow users access to both YouTube Music Key and Google Play Music Key for the same $9.99 price, though it’s unclear whether existing subscribers will have access on day one.
While the immediate value proposition of YouTube Music Key is not clear, users will likely have offline and background access not just to the “20 million high-quality tracks” from the labels themselves, but any non-bootleg concert footage, remixes, acoustic performances and more.
Google is reportedly still trying to negotiate licensing fees with a few outlier indie labels, so the service may not launch for another few months, but this is the best evidence we’ve seen of YouTube’s answer to demands for a streaming music solution.