YouTube music streaming service not online until September 2015

  • AFP
  • Updated: May 23, 2015 11:52 IST

YouTube's Music Key service has been pushed back once again as the heads of the project have announced that the current beta version will live on through the summer of 2015.

Presented late last year, Music Key grants unlimited, commercial free access to a vast selection of music videos in association with Google Play Music, both online and off. The service will require membership, like Spotify and Deezer, but is as of yet available as a test version only to a lucky few. These beta testers are now invited to continue making the most of this system for free until at least September 15, time for YouTube to fine-tune its offer.

Premium membership is expected to go for $9.99/month and would allow users to enjoy commercial-free content, even offline or in the background. Users should be able to search for songs by title, artist or genre, and also benefit from suggestions based on previously viewed videos. As such, the service would facilitate the broadening of users' musical horizons.

Stiff competition

In addition to YouTube, Apple is also expected to launch its own music streaming service sometime before the fall. Because of Apple's acquisition of Beats by Dre last year, the expectation is that the new service, possibly called Apple Music, could integrate Beats technology into iOS and include social features that would be available to artists. Others have decided not to wait as long to develop their projects.

Such is the case with Spotify, now offering, in the US at least, access to audio and video podcasts as well as an offer formatted specifically for runners. For its part, Deezer has also decided to incorporate audio podcasts into its service, further proof that the world of musical streaming is in constant evolution.

For now, the industry leader, Spotify, boasts more than 60 million active users around the world, of which 15 million are paying subscribers.

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