Google is launching YouTube Music next week, shortly followed by YouTube Premium – a revamped version of its ad-free YouTube Red subscription service with a renewed focus on original programming. Announced on Wednesday in a blog post, the shake-up in services represents a splitting of the original YouTube Red subscription model, which gave users both ad-free music streaming and access to original video content for $10 a month.
The new YouTube Music-only service will also cost $10 a month and replaces Google Play Music – existing subscribers will be migrated automatically (that includes non-paying users who have purchased music via Google Play or used the service to upload tracks and playlists). The rebranded service includes personalized playlists, intelligent search, support for background playback and music downloads for offline listening.
The streaming service will also remove ads from music videos, but not the rest of YouTube. An ad-supported version of YouTube Music will be available for free. As part of the launch, Google is promising a “reimagined” mobile app and desktop player that’s “designed for music”.
YouTube Music is a new music streaming service made for music: official songs, albums, thousands of playlists and artist radio plus YouTube’s tremendous catalog of remixes, live performances, covers and music videos that you can’t find anywhere else – all simply organized and personalized. For the first time, all the ways music moves you can be found in one place.
YouTube Premium, meanwhile, will cost $12 a month, and includes all the benefits of YouTube Music plus access to original shows as well as ad-free viewing for all of YouTube. The extra $2 over the original YouTube Red subscription will make way for more YouTube Originals from around the globe, featuring comedies, dramas, reality series, and action adventure shows from the U.K., Germany, France, Mexico, and more. Existing YouTube Red members will continue to pay the current price for YouTube Premium, however.
YouTube Music and launches on Tuesday, March 22 in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea, rolling out to more countries in the following weeks. They will include Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
YouTube Premium will roll out “soon” in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and South Korea, later followed by Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.