YouTube has launched its paid subscription service, YouTube Music Key, offering subscribers with "ad-free music, offline playback and background listening".
Set to rival streaming giant Spotify, the service will cost USD$9.99 a month, and will allow members to legally stream and download high quality versions of artists' entire discographies. A free version of YouTube will still be made available, however will feature ads.
The launch of the paid subscription service follows the newly established royalty deals between YouTube and the three majors (Sony, Warner and Universal), however, there is still no word on a royalty payment plan for indies.
Music Key is currently only available in seven countries, excluding Australia. However, if the service succeeds, YouTube Music Key will launch across the rest of the world at the end of its six month beta testing period.