Google app updates aren’t rare, sometimes happening weekly, but today’s Play Music refresh is a bit noteworthy in light of recent events. YouTube‘s new Music Key subscription service already makes a reference to Google’s own music streaming service and this app update goes full circle. Now Play Music users will be informed if the tune they’re listening to has a corresponding YouTube video and provide a link to said video right then and there.
YouTube Music Key wasn’t an exact surprise, having been leaked and rumored for a long time now. What those rumors didn’t usually talk about was how it would affect Google’s existing music subscription program. After all, the two did intersect at some points, with YouTube just providing a more visual experience over Play Music’s purely auditory consumption. While these two are likely to remain separate entities for the time being, Google is slowly bridging the gap to make things a little less confusing.
The Play Music app update brings YouTube to Play Music. Sort of. If a song you are currently playing has a YouTube video for it, you will get that iconic YouTube icon right in the middle of the album art. Tap on it and you will be taken to YouTube with the video starting to load. It seem that it will launch the YouTube app separately. It would perhaps have been more convenient if they could embed the YouTube video player inside the Play Music app itself, though that is more of a limitation of the Android platform.
The only catch to this new feature is that it is limited to All Access subscribers, but it is that very membership that provides a bridge to YouTube Music Key. Google confirms what we’ve already been saying, that if you subscribe to All Access, you automatically get into the beta program for YouTube’s subscription. That means a $9.99 monthly payment will get you access to both music sources. At the moment, that’s the deal. Whether that remains true after YouTube Music Key rolls out of beta and gets a price tag still remains to be seen.