After much rumour, speculation and tussling with independent record labels, YouTube has now unveiled it’s Music Key subscription service.
A £9.99 monthly subscription will allow users to watch ad-free music videos, as well as download them for use offline. A membership will also give access to the existing Google Play All Access service, an “all you can eat” music streaming and download facility.
The launch of Music Key had been delayed by disputes with independent record labels, but Google says that it has now signed agreements with hundreds of indies worldwide.
Whilst the finer detail of those agreements is not yet available, Brad Nevin, Chief Executive of the Orchard group of independent record labels has said that the deal is both fair and “a phenomenal opportunity.”
Music Key is intended to become a rival to other music streaming services such as Spotify, Rdio and Beats Music.
The launch comes in the wake of a fierce row between pop superstar Taylor Swift and the Spotify music streaming service. Swift recently removed her entire back catalogue from Spotify, disgruntled by the level of payments made to artists and publishers by the business.
“I’m not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment that I don’t feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists, and creators of this music,” Swift recently told Yahoo Music.