It has been nearly a year since YouTube hyped us with their subscription based music app, Music Key. Finally we could listen to music videos without having to keep the app open. It also came with an offline mode to re-watch/listen to your favorites without having your data drained. It was a dream come true, yet the name isn’t the catchiest one amongst the Alphabet family.
Anyhow, Music Key is not dead. Users have been teased about a new service called “YouTube Red” after the new update of the YouTube app. A notification referring to YouTube Red as the service that enables background playback pops up during two occasions: when a user moves away from the app while a music video is playing, and when a user re-enters the app.
As far as we know, it could most possibly be a rebrand to Music Key since it’s still in beta; just as how Google changed Play Music All Access to Play Music Unlimited. There hasn’t been any changes seen in the Music Key promotional page at the time of writing. However, what we can expect is an official announcement about YouTube Red at the Google Nexus launch on September 29th.
YouTube Red will definitely take over Music Key as it overlaps its main feature of background play. It could contain more features which would differentiate Red from other apps like Spotify and Apple Music. Also, this could mean that the beta days of YouTube’s ad-free subscription may finally end, with a rebrand to a much better name. If we get to listen to the music videos we watch from our browser through the app offline WHILE running it in the background, what more of YouTube do we need? Besides a jar of nutella that is.