No fewer than 24 hours after reaching agreement with independent rights-holder Merlin, YouTube–with 100% of the stakeholders in the "known" musical universe on-board–will launch its YouTube Music Key streaming service on November 17. The service will cost $9.99, with the benefits being offline and ad-free listening. The initial roll-out will occur in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Finland and Portugal.
YouTube Music Key subscribers will gain access to Google Play Music. Songs with label-certified "official" music videos will be accompanied by video-free songs, with Music Key subscribers able to choose between music videos, songs or songs and videos delivered in playlists as listening/viewing options.
Insofar as user interface changes to YouTube, Billboard states that YouTube Music Key "will be separated from the original service by a tab, with a few tiny new buttons added to the default mobile interface we were shown." Insofar as label interaction with the new service, this will certainly be a story to watch develop.