If your head’s been spinning trying to work out exactly which of Google’s unlimited music streaming services you’re going to fork out for, then take heart — the company has moved to clarify some of the fine print in the light of the arrival of YouTube Music Key.
Sign up for early access to YouTube Music Key ($7.99 a month to begin with, $9.99 a month eventually) and you get Google Play Music into the bargain too — that’s Google’s main cloud-based Spotify rival that lets you stream your own MP3s and millions of other songs over the Web.
Google has now confirmed that it works the other way too, so if you’ve already signed up for Google Play Music (typically $9.99 a month and previously known as Google Play Music All Access) then YouTube Music Key will be rolled out to you at no extra cost. In other words, these aren’t two competing services — you get both of them for the same monthly fee.
There are still some uncertainties about these two apps, such as international availability and when exactly the YouTube component will be added to Google’s main music service, but at least the picture is a little clearer now. It also makes the $9.99 monthly fee look a lot more appealing if you know that both services are included.
Users who don’t want to pay anything will still be able to use YouTube (with ads) and Google Play Music (with local files only) but no doubt Google will be pushing people to sign up for the premium level of access. In addition to removing the ads from YouTube music videos, the Music Key package also enables background streaming and offline listening.
If you can take just one more nugget of Google Play Music news this weekend, then the online Web app has a new visualizer you can play around with — hover over the album art in the lower-left corner to see the new Particles option pop up.