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YouTube music subs service could be called YouTube Music Key

Google's upcoming offline music video subscription service could be called YouTube Music Key, according to a new report

It has been rumourd for some time that Google is working on a subscription service for YouTube dedicted to music playback, and now it seems that speculation has gone into overdrive, thanks to a detailed leak that seemingly reveals the company’s plans.

According to Android Police, which has obtained an updated version of the YouTube Android app with a full breakdown of the as-yet unofficial service, YouTube Music Key will be an ad-free subscription that will cost $9.99 per month in the US. It will include audio-only playback for background listening and the ability to keep playing even when you lock your handset, and full offline playback – meaning you won’t need an internet connection to kick off playback as you do now with “saved for later” cached videos on Android smartphones.

How does this differ from any other music service? Essentially it’s all about the content. Unlike existing streaming services like Spotify, which have a huge catalogue of official releases, YouTube is often the starting point for unofficial remixes and mashups that would have previously seen small white label vinyl releases, as well as new up-and-coming artists, footage from live shows and other difficult-to-find audio. Depending on how YouTube Music Key works, it could prove incredibly popular with fans of electronic and hip-hop music, as well as followers of smaller indie bands.

To coincide with the launch of YouTube Music key, Android Police suggests Google will rename its Play Music All Access Subscription to Google Play Music Key. After a free 30 day trial, the $9.99 price is set to cover both subscriptions, letting listeners choose between mainstream albums on Google Play Music Key or a mix of studio and live tracks, covers and remixes on YouTube Music Key.

It’s currently unknown when Google will make the new service official, or if it will be coming to other territories outside the US at first. Record labels are notoriously difficult to get onboard with new services, and Google has had some trouble in the past negotiating content deals with certain labels over the right to show video content.

If Google has managed to sort these deals, we could be seeing an announcement imminently.

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