On Wednesday, YouTube unveiled its new video/music commercial music streaming service, YouTube Music Key.
The service, which will provides ad-free and offline streaming of music and videos for US$9.99 a month, will be launched on November 17. The service will also include membership to Google Play, the streaming service run by parent company Google.
Music Key is intended to enter the market of music services like Spotify and the Apple-owned Beats Music, however the option of video will pose a serious challenge to the other audio-only services.
According to the company, the launch had been delayed by a much-publicized dispute with independent labels, but also announced that Google has now signed deals with hundreds of “indies” across the world.
YouTube has also stated that non-subscribers will continue to have free access to music and videos through its website.
While sales from streaming music are growing alongside declines in CDs and digital downloads, the subscription-streaming business – which is still being considered as incipient by U.S. Economists – remains controversial among some people inside the music industry.
On November 11, the famed U.S. singer-songwriter Taylor Swift decided to remove her discography from Spotify, saying she did not believe the company "fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists, and creators" of songs.
However Spotify's chief executive defended its business model, saying the company has paid out $2 billion to the music industry with just 50 million users.
The music industry has been in the midst of a crisis for a number of years, and some economists believe the paid-streaming model is a viable revenue stream.