What we expected in “weeks” was announced early this afternoon. Google took the wraps off YouTube Music Key, a paid streaming service which includes unlimited, ad-free access to music videos. If that is not enough, the search giant also unveiled a new dedicated tab for tunes on YouTube.com and the YouTube app.
The official YouTube Music Key aligns closely with longstanding rumors. A $9.99 subscription ($7.99 for a limited time) nets subscribers uninterrupted music video streaming. Interestingly, that access extends to Play Music’s full library of albums, playlists, and songs; in the coming days, the two services will become more closely integrated with music videos appearing alongside singles.
Google also launched a spruced-up online and in-app category for music today. Essentially an organized subset of content, the new page aggregates favorited and recommended music videos, popular playlists, trending content, and videos from subscriptions. Search got a tweak, too – relevant artist discography will now appear in results.
The tweaked interface lands today, but YouTube Music Key will first enter beta. Google’s accepting sign-ups, but given the volume of interested users, don’t count on getting in right away. Lucky folks who receive a notification or e-mail will get six months for free.
Update: To clarify, current All Access subscribers will receive all the benefits of a Music Key subscription when the service launches more broadly.