YouTube to launch premium music streaming service

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Millions of people already listen to music on YouTube, but soon they’ll be able to hear their favorite tunes without any annoying ads.

The company announced on Wednesday that starting next week it will be joining the premium streaming music landscape with its YouTube Music Key.

The long-awaited monthly subscription service will be available first by invite only. Those with an invite will be able to unlock the service for a six month free trial. The beta version will then charge a promotional price of $7.99 a month. A future standard rate will be $9.99 a month.

Users will be able to play music without ads and offline via YouTube’s current iPhone and Android phone apps.

“You’ve watched, shared, remixed, invented, parodied and whatevered your favorite songs, making YouTube the ultimate place for artists and fans to connect,” the company wrote in a blog post. “We’re making it easier to find new music on YouTube and rock out to old favorites.”

The new service will also come with a subscription to Google Play Music. YouTube will now have full high quality audio albums along with the site’s standard music videos.

YouTube enters the streaming market at a time where many are at odds about if streaming music is good or bad for the music industry.

That debate was brought to the forefront when Taylor Swift pulled her music from the popular music streaming service, Spotify, last week.

Swift’s move garnered a response from Spotify CEO Daniel Ek on Tuesday.

By Frank Pallotta

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