| 25 Jul 2024
YouTube introduces Music Key, music subscription service in competition with Spotify

YouTube also unveiled free music features, supported by advertising, that are available immediately to the public. The YouTube app for Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS and the site has a new corner just for music, which shows a user's favourite music videos, recommended music playlists and playlists of trending music across the site.

YouTube also plans to introduce a subscription feature to compete with online music outlets like Spotify and Rhapsody. To achieve this, it has recently signed a licensing deal with independent record companies to offer audio-only tracks for millions of songs that do not have official music videos on YouTube.

The deal was recently finalised with Merlin, an organisation that represents many small music labels around the world, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations. However, terms of the agreement were not disclosed, according to internet sources. When news of the agreement was first reported by The Financial Times, a representative of Merlin, which is based in Britain, did not respond to messages seeking comment on Tuesday. A spokesman for YouTube declined to comment specifically on its deals, but said in a statement that "hundreds of major and independent labels are already partnering with us."