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How to set up YouTube Music Key and save videos offline

9 tips to master YouTube's new music video subscription service

Okay, so YouTube Music Key isn’t the catchiest name in the world, but alongside Play Music, Google now owns one of the most comprehensive subscription services currently available.

Although some users won’t appreciate having to pay out for another service, if you purchase either a Music Key or Play Music licence, you get the other one completely free, making it a very tempting deal. Apart from having access to millions of music videos, Music Key finally adds some of the most requested features that have been previously missing – including both background and offline listening.

Background listening makes it easy to do other things on your phone while still listening to YouTube. The offline option where users can download their favourite tracks and listen on the go. Both of these features alone are worth forking out for the service.

In this tutorial we will be guiding you through YouTube Master Key, from setting it up to making the the most of the service’s brilliant suite of features. To begin, purchase YouTube Music Key in the app or from

This tutorial originally appeared in Android Magazine issue 48. For in-depth tutorials on all things Android and mastering your mobile, subscribe now.


  1. Update and log in

    Download the latest version of the YouTube app from the Google Play store and proceed to log in to your YouTube account. If you’ve correctly purchased Music Key, you should now see the Offline option enabled within the side menu. Head to the app’s home screen once completed.


  2. Switch to Music

    By default, you’ll be shown the subscriptions screen and an overview of some videos to catch up on. Instead of this menu, select the Music tab near the top of the app. When you first use this option, you may find it takes a few seconds to finish loading.


  3. Load a video

    Open any music video of your choice and you’ll find a couple of new things to look at. First, you will see the ad-free logo to notify you that no ads are included with this video. Then, to the right is a download icon so you can add the video to your offline playlist.

  4. Add to Offline

    Go ahead and press on the Download icon to begin adding the video to your offline playlist. Normally this process takes just under a minute to complete. If you want to back out of the download, press the icon again and select the ‘Remove from Offline’ option.

  5. Monitor progress

    By opening up your notifications menu you can monitor several key areas. For one, you’ll be able to see all of the items that have been added to your Offline menu, as well as the Music Key video that’s currently being played in the background on your device.

  6. Create offline playlists

    After you’ve downloaded a few songs, head back to the Music tab and scroll down until you see the Playlists tab. Select one of your playlists and then choose the download icon once again. Adding playlists to your offline menu takes considerably longer than individual tracks.

  7. Adjust quality

    If you’re finding the video quality isn’t quite cutting it for you, head back into the Music tab and open the settings via the menu icon. Now select the Quality tab and choose the 720p option. All of your background and offline videos will now be played in HD.

  8. Link to Play Music

    As you get a free Play Music account with a Music Key subscription, it’s worth using the audio streaming service. When listening to a particular artist in Play Music, scroll to the bottom of their page, and you’ll be able to load up the corresponding music video in Music Key.

  9. Check your account

    If you’re worried that none of the above options have appeared for you, then it’s important to make sure you’re signed into the correct Google account. If you’ve accidentally purchased a Music Key subscription on the wrong account, it’s easy enough to switch.