Not too long ago, that music subscription service that we’ve been hearing about for ages finally launched as Music Key for YouTube. Essentially a way to watch music videos without ads, the ability to throw them together into a playlist and of course download them to watch offline. While the service is currently only included in Google Play Music’s All Access subscription, I’m already impressed by Music Key and it’s gotten me interested in music videos once more. While the service is still getting off the crowd, and for a lot of people won’t offer all that much, I think Google and YouTube have something of a winner on their hands here.
I’m a big music listener, I listen to music all day while writing for the site, and not only does it help me focus, but it also keeps me happy in my work. I have a Cambridge Audio HiFi setup as well as a quality pair of Denon headphones and an amp to make sure I get the most out of what I’m listening to. I genuinely could not live without music, and since I started with All Access last year, I’ve been listening to more music than ever and a wider variety as well. While the ‘Explore’ feature in Google Play Music makes it fairly easy to come across new music, the way I stumble across new singles, new artists and even fresh genres is through YouTube. The experience is soured a little however, when I have to watch an ad, and while I’m by no means saying we can live without ads, after sitting through your fifth, sixth or seventh non-skippable 30-second ad things can get pretty laborious.
With Music Key though, I can watch music videos in peace and I can quite easily download them to watch offline if I really wanted to. Being able to load up a mix of similar music without being interrupted by an ad is also a big deal for me, too. Google and YouTube have come up with a way that could very well encourage more young people to listen to full albums as well through Music Key. Odds are if you speak to someone who never really spent time with a CD about a certain artist they will namedrop their latest single and say “I’ve seen it on YouTube” and that’s great, YouTube and Music go hand-in-hand like vinyl and audiophiles do, but how many people really go out and buy a full album unless they’re really, really into a band or artist’s sound? Music Key can basically funnel those that love listening on YouTube to listening through Google Play Music and I think that’s a great way of doing things.
Sure, it raises the whole question of whether or not artist’s are being paid fairly, and while I’m not going to talk about number I know very little about, I would like to think that Music Key has the potential to do more for musicians than say Spotify and All Access on its own. Music videos have always been a way for a band or artist to show their audience a little about themselves, and tying an all-you-can-eat music subscription together with music videos makes a whole lot of sense. I foresee a future in which, thanks to Music Key, listeners care about their artists once more. I’m also excited to see what’s next with Music Key.
I’m a big fan of watching live performances and concerts as well, add those into YouTube’s Music Key and you have yourself a music lover’s dream. Imagine being able to listen to all the albums, watch all the music videos you want and being able to watch a full concert all with one subscription. That’s something that sounds really quite special, and while Music Key isn’t much of anything right now, it can only get better, and I believe it will.