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After over a year of rumors and speculation, Google has finally announced the subscription-based music service spinning out of YouTube. Called YouTube Music Key, which costs $9.99 each month and provides ad-free, background-playing-capable music and videos. It’s also rolled into a monthly subscription to Google Play Music, and it sounds like one of the best deals yet for streaming music subscriptions.

The details are essentially what we’ve heard before: YouTube Music Key provides access to over 30 million songs, along with playlists and full albums, and can operate in the background of other apps, or when your phone’s display is turned off, or even when you’re disconnected from the Internet. This is a welcome change for those of us who’ve used YouTube to find songs while driving, only to be stymied if we want to switch back to the Navigation app.

Users can request an invite to the service’s beta, which will provide access to the service for free for six months. The introductory price of the service will also start at $7.99, though it’s not clear just yet how long that promotional price will stay in place. Either way, there are more than a few reasons to go with the YouTube Music Key in place of whatever other music streaming app you might be using, but there’s really only one that matters: music videos.

YouTube, of course, is where the world’s videos live. As such, getting a subscription will provide more for your money, especially when you consider that it’s got the Google Play Music subscription built in. However, it’s entirely possible that Google and YouTube don’t have the rights to stream the music you’re looking for. That’s likely to remain the crucial difference for a lot of these services going forward.

It’ll be interesting to see how well YouTube Music Key does when it launches – stay tuned. Or should I say Tubed?

[YouTube Official Blog]

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