August 22, 2014Published by: Fereshta Amir

YouTube’s new Music Key service launches as direct competitor to Spotify


Google has announced recently that it's developing a new service that will take the services of Google Play Music and combine it with the size and power of Youtube to form the new Youtube Music Key. This premium service, for which we are still awaiting a release date, will charge a similar price to the music streaming service Spotify at USD 9.99 per month and provide users with unlimited music streaming online and the ability to create and save playlists offline. The premium service will also provide extra content like live streams of concerts and videos.

While this service may sound almost identical to Spotify Premium, there are some fundamental attractions to the service. Of course, the extra content will appeal to Youtube users, however, this does not work on its own to attract users; the key attraction to the service is that it is based on the original Youtube platform, therefore making it very easy to upload new material.

The key assets that Google has in attracting users to their new service are twofold; firstly, YouTube claims that their users watch approximately six billion hours of videos each month and that 100 hours of videos are uploaded every minute. This clearly demonstrates the sheer size of YouTube and, therefore, the power Google has at its disposal.

Secondly, once Google combine the music available on Google Play Music with the library they are forming on Youtube Music Key there will be over 20 million songs available to users. With one billion users already on YouTube, Google is set to pose a significant threat to music streaming services such as Spotify. In order for Google to turn this into a hugely profitable move they would only require a small fraction of their users to sign up for Music Key.

Despite the significant potential for the new service, Google has hit some speed bumps with regards to the licensing for the content. Some artists, especially those related to Indie record labels, are failing to see the benefits of signing the agreement with Google. This has proved to be an opportunity for Google to display its power as it responded with threat to block the artists content. However, it is still ambiguous as to whether this was referring to Youtube. There has not yet been a release date confirmed but until then we will have to hope that the negotiations with record labels go smoothly.

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