YouTube’s music service yet to hit the right ‘key’ as company extends beta period

YouTube’s music service yet to hit the right ‘key’ as company extends beta period

When YouTube Music Key debuted in November 2014 the company stated that the service would remain in beta for the first six months. Now - two months after that deadline - The Verge reports that YouTube will prolong this beta until September 15th in order to work out all the kinks. 

This is good news for beta users, who will continue to access the service for free until that time, but it could mean that YouTube will lag behind Spotify and perhaps Apple in pushing a well-rounded solution to its users. 

Spotify just this week announced a revamp of its app that will see the service integrate both videos and podcasts, as well as an intriguing pace-matching function for runners. 

Apple’s service will almost certainly be announced in the next ten days at WWDC although the actual launch could be delayed by a few weeks or even a few months depending on whether the company has managed to finalise all of its major label deals. 

One of the main issues with YouTube Music Key currently is the fact that it is a completely separate experience from that provided by Google Play Music All Access, which is Google's standalone music streaming app, with some users also reporting on the latter to be much more user-friendly. If YouTube really wants to capture the attention of consumers is needs to come up with a way of merging the two experiences into a single app, which could prove to be tricky from a design perspective. 

Undoubtedly YouTube will be looking at Spotify’s new interface to see how they merged videos and music content in a way that keeps the interface clean and navigable. 

For now, unless Google Play Music is your service of choice (the music locker provided is great, so if you have a lot of music that is not on streaming services it is worth a try), you may want to hold off subscribing to Music Key and cope with YouTube ads for a little while longer. 


(Andrea Leonelli)