(Hypebot) – By Chris Robley on The DIY Musician Blog
After much anticipation, YouTube has just announced the launch of its subscription streaming service: YouTube Music Key. YouTube Music Key, available in the US and 6 European countries, will let subscribers listen to ad-free music (including full albums in high quality audio) AND watch music videos — even when offline — for $9.99/month (though the introductory price is $7.99). And YOUR music (and “Art Tracks” videos) could be available on YouTube Music Key soon!
As a CD Baby artist, if you’ve enrolled in our Sync Licensing program, your albums and singles will be delivered to YouTube Music Key. We will also deliver to YouTube high quality album art videos, or what YouTube is calling “Art Tracks,” which play audio while displaying an image of your album cover. These videos are available not only to Music Key subscribers, but also as ad-supported content accessible for free on YouTube.com. Ad revenue from these videos will work the same as any other video on YouTube. Revenue for streaming activity through YouTube Music Key will be paid to you by CD Baby, and you’ll be able to view details in the accounting section of your member account.
So how does YouTube’s subscription streaming service work?
Well, before we get into the stuff that’s available for paid users, I should emphasize that YouTube has made some changes that are available to EVERYONE — not just Music Key subscribers. For instance, on both YouTube.com and the YouTube app for iOS and Android, you will now see a home (and top-level tab) for music that displays your favorite music videos, recommended music playlists, and more.
You’ll also be able to stream full albums in high quality audio and view an artist’s discography on YouTube.
As a Music Key subscriber, all of this listening and viewing will be ad-free, and content will keep playing even if you lock the screen, start using other apps, or disconnect from the Internet.
Oh, and they’ll throw in a subscription to Google Play Music too, giving you access to 30+ million songs.
For now, Music Key is in beta testing, and users will be invite-only.