YouTube is taking the fight to Spotify by launching a subscription music service that makes it possible to watch, listen to and download advert-free music videos
The new service is called Music Key and costs £9.99 a month, the same pricepoint as Spotify’s premium service.
On top of its music video features, the service also includes a subscription to Google Play Music.
Users can view and download whole albums in video format and also create their own video playlists. Once a video is playing, the music will continue in the background even when you move to other apps.
The service will initially be rolled out for Android and Apple mobile devices, with a PC version yet to be announced.
“You’ve asked us for ways to listen to music without ads, to keep playing music videos even if you lock the screen or start using another app, and to play music even if you’re not connected to the internet,” said a YouTube spokesperson.
“That’s why today we’re announcing YouTube Music Key beta.”
With the service currently in beta, access to it is invite-only and a date for the full launch is yet to be released. If you do manage to snaffle an invite, you’ll get a six-month free trial and then a special lifetime rate of £7.99 a month.
The rest of us will have to wait for the full launch and a monthly fee of £9.99. As is the norm for tech launches, those buying the service in the States get a much better deal. US YouTube users will pay a full price of $9.99 – that’s equivalent to just £6.38, less than two thirds of the UK price.