Today YouTube finally unveiled its long awaited Music Key subscription service and at least at first glance, other streaming music services should take notice. It offers a number of features that other services might not be able to easily offer, making it more difficult for a company to be able to differentiate itself in an increasingly crowded space.
While it was common information that for a $10 per month fee, Music Key would allow the user ad-free and offline playback as well as the ability to listen in the background, what we didn’t know was that you’d also get access to the entire Google Play catalog too. This includes a large selection of not only audio, but video as well. Plus there’s also an abundance of playlists and the ability to listen and watch over compatible services like Sonos and Chromecast.
So why should the other services take more than a casual notice to the launch? First of all, its about video as much as audio. If there’s an enticement to get a heavy YouTube user to pay 10 bucks its getting rid of the pre-roll or popup banner ads when they watch a video. YouTube is already the most widely used service for consuming music online, and yes, you can still do that for free, but everyone hates the ads. I bet a lot of people will buy in for this reason alone.
On the other hand, many music lovers access YouTube to find primarily their favorite song. They don’t necessarily care about the video attached, and many times the video only shows a static picture anyway. While the main attraction for users may be the ad-free environment at first, that can quickly change once they’re exposed to the other features. You can keep a customer with one killer feature, but for every additional feature that he comes to rely on, it becomes increasingly more difficult to pry that user away to another service. Read more on Forbes.
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