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November 20, 2014

YouTube Music Key: Features and Details

Sometime in August, a rumour began that YouTube would soon unveil a premium subscription based service known as Music Key. Well, It’s here. Currently the service is in beta, and being provided to a “select group of YouTube’s biggest music fans” which I’ll be honest, made me feel a little bit special.



So what does it do? Music Key has four main features:

It removes ads. and so it should! It’s a paid service. We’ve all been there, you’ve made a YouTube playlist that you think will create the perfect environment for your gathering/dinner party/All night rave and it gets interrupted by Ray Winston urging you not to click the skip button. Music Key allows for continuous and uninterrupted music playback which is something many have wanted for a long time. Including me.

Background listening. Most streaming services, such as Spotify, can run in the background like a standard music player. Now YouTube can do that do. This is particularly useful if you want to continue listening with your phone in your pocket. You can pause and skip tracks all from the notification tray or from the lock screen, or even from your smartwatch. This feature makes YouTube feel a lot more like a real music player, and not just like a video site with lots of music on it.


Offline playback. Many will fall to their knees with joy with the addition of this feature. Being able to store videos locally for offline viewing has been something YouTube users have been screaming out for. No more sad and lonely train journeys now, you can watch and listen to content as long as your battery holds out. Just make sure you prepare in advance.

All Access. If you are currently a Google Play Music All Access subscriber then Music Key will come at no extra cost (thanks Google!). Likewise, if you sign up for Music Key, then All Access is thrown in as well. So you are getting a really good deal for the monthly fee.

This seems to be a good move from Google in general, as it brings YouTube forward as a key player in the streaming service battle, and it also brings Play Music a little bit more attention. Getting both services in one is great way for Google to step ahead of their competitors.

So how much does it cost and when can I get it?

Currently this is in beta, and should be integrated more widely any time in the next few months. In the meantime, make sure you have the latest version of YouTube installed, and check if you have been selected for the beta. Music Key is available for both Android and IOS devices.

Music Key will cost £7.99 for the early adopters and £9.99 for those joining after that period.  Of course, the service comes free to Play Music users. The beta is completely free, so enjoy it while it lasts.

What do you think of Music Key? Comment below or get involved on our social media pages.

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Dave Thornton

Senior Editor

Senior Editor
Been involved in technology for many years, more than I care to remember. Live in Dundee, Scotland. I like Android, Windows Phone OS, BlackBerry OS and iOS, and love writing about all things techie. Currently have a Honor 6+, Elephone P6000, Nexus 5, Chrombook C720, HTC One M7, Nokia Lumina 625, Microsoft Lumia 435, Blackberry Q10, HTC Hero and iPad mini