Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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YouTube introduces Music Key, a paid service

For the first time in almost 10 years, YouTube, the fount of everything free that web streaming has to offer, is launching a pay-per-stream service that charges users who want extra perks.

YouTube unveiled YouTube Music Key Wednesday. It's an upgrade of its music offerings that offers users top-quality audio, which charges them US$7.99 a month for extra features, like streaming audio minus the obnoxious ads.

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YouTube has been working on this project for over a year now. The social streaming giant is doing this to help the ailing music industry. While artists, producers and record labels see YouTube as a very helpful platform in promoting albums, the artists, however, earn very low payouts.

Google-owned site welcomes north of 1 billion unique visitors every month, thanks to the music videos found there, which have been the site's top attractions.

Users in the United States, Britain and some European countries could avail of Music Key in the coming days.

YouTube will pattern the launching of Music Key after Google's "beta" testing, a service available by invitation only. All YouTube users could expect to start using this service by next year.

To entice users, Youtube is offering access to Music Key for free for six months. After that period, they will have to start paying US$7.99. Meanwhile, those who are not invited but sign up next year will be charged US$9.99.

YouTube used to charge users in accessing some of its contents before, especially those streaming in special channels. However, this is the first time that it will employ a massive payment scheme.

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