After months of rumors expounded by Google and contractual conflicts with independent labels, the first version of YouTube’s ad-free subscription service, Music Key, has launched. The beta version is available by invitation only for the first test months but marks definitive steps at adding another streaming service to the internet ranks, ultimately looking to challenge Spotify‘s role as top paid streaming provider.
Perhaps the biggest move made by Google and the Music Key campaign is the contractual agreement with The Merlin Network, which represents over 20,000 independent labels worldwide. For electronic music fans, this is yet another reason to rejoice, because Merlin represents everything from large label behemoths like Armada to Warp Records, home to Aphex Twin, Rustie, Flying Lotus and others.
As reported by BBC News, the starting subscription will match Spotify’s rate at $9.99 but will also include access to Google Play. Not only will the service allow for continuous video and audio streaming, but a subscription will also allow for downloads and the ability to save files to your mobile device. Another added perk for subscribers will be the ability to finally minimize YouTube windows without the audio stopping abruptly. And like most streaming services on the market at the moment, Music Key will prompt users to current trends and suggest music based upon activity.
If the limited electronic music access of Spotify combined with the constant ebb-flow aggravation of SoundCloud’s software has you spent, Music Key might just be the answer.
Click here to sign up now.