YouTube recently announced that its new subscription music service is launching within the next week (November 18th to be exact), called “YouTube Music Key”. Similar to other premium music streaming platforms like Spotify Premium, the cost for the new Google service is $9.99 per month for advertising free (as well as offline) listening.
Access to YouTube Music Key will also get for end users premium access to Google Play Music’s over 45 million songs, as well as YouTube’s collection of popular videos. YouTube will be testing these new services on an invitation-only basis similar to rollout of many Google products such as the new Gmail App, Google Wave (ugh), and Google Glass Developers.
This is an industry arena already filled with competition, such as new services from Amazon Prime, Apple iTunes, Pandora, etc. Given the amount of failures in the tech industry with free services that convert to “paid” (remember NYTimes Select!), I wouldn’t be surprised if Google changed this to a free model within the next 12-24 months.