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Music streaming is the future. That’s what a lot of people, with really long job titles, have been telling us for years. And today, Youtube, one of the biggest players in the music world, has finally launched its own paid-for music streaming service.

Called Youtube Music Key, the service allows users to listen, watch and download music videos and albums onto their tablets and smartphones.

And that’s about it from what we can gather.

There’s no actual app, well there is, it’s Youtube, but there’s no standalone app. And the service doesn’t work with PCs or Macs – as it’s baked into Youtube’s current app offerings.

Music Key will come bundled with Google’s own music streaming service Google Music, which currently costs £9.99 per month, and will be renamed, Google Play Music from today.

The service will also be available for free too, users will still get Youtube revamped music discovery tab on the site – but will still have to endure ads, and you won’t be able to download either.

Essentially, Google knows a lot of people listen to music via streaming services, but they also know those very same people also listen to a lot music on Youtube – so this new service looks to bridge those users together.

On its own, £9.99 per month isn’t a bad price point for Music Key especially considering you’ll get access to Google Play Music or vice-versa.

But from our untrained eye this service looks like a confusing way of leverage Youtube’s popularity with Google Music’s unpopularity, which in turn should add up to a decent alternative to Spotify.

One thing you have to remember is this doesn’t remove all ads from Youtube – it only removes ads from music videos and artists that are part of the service. So day-to-day you’re still going to see ads, just not as many.

The main issue Google has with Google Play Music – and in turn Music Key – is Spotify, and to a lesser extent a million other streaming services that do music a lot better than Youtube does.

Youtube is a video network and works best for, you guessed it, video. And while video and music aren’t mutually exclusive, trying to service both in the long run might not work from a user perspective.

Music Key will launch in the next couple of weeks in beta form in the US and six European countries for a introductory price of £7.99 for early adopters.


Andrew Rafter

Andrew Rafter is the editor and founder of Harder Blogger Faster.