YouTube Delays Music Key Launch

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 11.17.14 in News

YouTube Music Key‘s big debut will have to wait. The music video giant had been set to roll out a pilot version of its new paid music subscription service today. But the launch is now scheduled for tomorrow, November 18, a Google rep has confirmed to Billboard.

YouTube Music Key will offer ad-free and offline listening for $9.99 a month. (The price for the invite-only beta launch is $7.99.) The service includes on-demand access to video-free songs, similar to Spotify. Subscribers also have access to Pandora-like playlists based on a choice of song or artist. Membership in Google’s pre-existing streaming service, Google Play Music, is another part of the package.

YouTube announced Music Key last week after reaching a long-awaited agreement with indie labels, whose representatives have cheered the deal. The latest entrant in the streaming business comes as streams represent an increasing share of music revenues, but also as debate continues about the business model and its royalties.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, industry titan Irving Azoff has threatened to take about 20,000 tracks he controls off of YouTube as his new Global Music Rights organization pushes for higher songwriting royalties.