Revamped YouTube Music is Google's latest effort to take on Spotify

Ismael LynchMay 17, 2018

YouTube will also be expanding its lineup of original content, like the recently released "Cobra Kai", and Premium users will get access to all of the new content. YouTube Premium will also feature content like "Step Up: High Water", and upcoming series like the sci-fi thriller "Impulse", as well as Liza Koshy's "Liza on Demand". Google has worked hard over the past few years to create algorithms that detect licensed music and immediately shuts them down, but there is still a lot of free music on YouTube that no one but Google is benefiting from. It's particularly popular in emerging markets where you can see YouTube listeners on public transport or other moments that Spotify and co would want to own.

If you're interested in learning more, head over to the YouTube Music signup page and add your details, but we'll likely hear more next week. Re/code notes that ad-free here only applies to music videos, not the rest of YouTube. While a YouTube Music subscription is something that's been tried before, this time it seems part of a bigger shift.

Starting Tuesday, we're rolling out the new YouTube Music experience in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea*. It will be expanded to other countries in the following weeks.

So how does it work?

YouTube Music, YouTube Music Premium, and YouTube Premium are new services that Google announced yesterday; they are Google's next, and maybe final, attempt at establishing a free and paid streaming service to compete with the likes of Spotify or Apple Music. Right now, Music is just a modified YouTube app that requires a Red subscription.

Existing YouTube Premium subscribers will be kept on the current $9.99/month plan for now, and YouTube Premium includes everything that's in YouTube Music too. YouTube have confirmed with USA Today that Google Play Music will eventually be phased out and replaced by YouTube Music. Now the company is simplifying and consolidating that play by decoupling the music and film components with the launch of a new service. Not only do you have to pay $2 extra for the YouTube Premium but you will also need to shell out another $10 for the YouTube Music and that climbs up to a $12 extra/month.

A new ad-supported version of Music will be available for free, with a $9.99/month "Music Premium" tier offering ad-free content, background playback, and offline downloads.

YouTube Music will be a new app, for mobile and desktop, and service specifically designed for play music (and music videos).

In addition to no ads, YouTube Premium provides access to downloads, background playing and all the YouTube Originals.

YouTube appears to have pressed the button on the blog post earlier than expected, after industry pundit Bob Lefsetz published his latest daily letter about a demo of the new service given to him by Cohen.

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