Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Numbers Add Up For YouTube’s Music Key

YouTube Music Key launch screen image
For the better part of a year we’ve been hearing rumors about YouTube’s “soon to be launched” subscription music service, but details were always sorely lacking - until now. Android Police seems to not only have uncovered some details about the service, reportedly to be called “Music Key,” but even has a few screen graphics as well.

If you’re not familiar with the situation already, YouTube (which is owned by Google) is the leading online platform for music discovery, as well as the preferred music service for those 18 and younger. In fact, 38.4% of all its video views come from music, and 10 of YouTube’s top 20 channels are dedicated to music, according to the YouTube analytics firm Tubular. Google has wanted to monetize these music video views even more than it has already with advertising by spinning off a separate music-only subscription service, and that’s what Music Key is.

Reportedly the service will be an audio-only platform that will cost $9.99 per month, but for that the commercials are eliminated, and the user will have the new-found ability to listen to songs offline. A free 30 day trial is said to be offered, at least during the product launch.

Google does face a number of challenges with Music Key however. First is the cannibalization of its own Play All Access music streaming service. Word is that the company will rebrand it as Google Play Music Key, but it still seems like there’ll be some confusion there, like which service do you subscribe to? Is there a difference between the two? Does one have advantages over the other? Does a subscription cover both? The problem here is that the company should be trying to draw a distinction between itself and other competing services, not between its own properties. It seems like a small issue now, but it just might be enough to make a potential customer throw her hands in the air in a fit of indecision and subscribe to Spotify instead. Read more on Forbes.

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