- YouTube Music has been announced, serving up tracks and YouTube’s music-focused videos in one app.
- The service is available in a free, ad-supported tier and in a premium $9.99/month option.
- YouTube Red has been rebranded to YouTube Premium and will now cost $2 more per month.
Google owns two of the most prominent music destinations, in the form of YouTube and Google Play Music. Now, the company has officially announced YouTube Music, essentially combining music tracks, YouTube videos, and some of YouTube Red’s features.
YouTube Music, which launches on May 22, puts music tracks and YouTube’s huge collection of music-related videos (music videos, covers, live music etc) in one app. Essentially, Google doesn’t want you hopping between YouTube and Play Music. Or YouTube and Apple Music. Or YouTube and Spotify. You get the idea…
YouTube Music is available as a free, ad-supported tier, but the premium tier has a few perks. For $9.99 a month, you get ad-free playback, offline downloads and background playback. That free tier certainly seems like a shot against Spotify’s free service.
YouTube Music will launch in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea at first. From here, it’ll launch in: Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K.
YouTube Red is now YouTube Premium
If the premium perks sound familiar, it’s because YouTube Red already offers these features. In fact, YouTube Red offers ad-free playback, background functionality and offline downloads across YouTube — it’s not restricted to music-related content like YouTube Music. YouTube Red also offers access to original content and Play Music streaming.
As part of Google’s “this time we mean it” approach to YouTube, the company revealed YouTube Red would now be rebranded as YouTube Premium. The renamed service will now include YouTube Music and see a price increase from $9.99 to $11.99 a month, Google says. Current YouTube Red members won’t be affected by the price hike.
So what happens to Play Music?
Google Play Music is still a thing of course, and the search titan tried to reassure subscribers that it’ll be business as usual. Google Play Music subscribers will get YouTube Music as part of their existing subscription. Your Play Music uploads, purchases and playlists won’t be affected, the company adds.
The real question is whether Google Play Music will be discontinued. The move to gift YouTube Music to existing subscribers suggests the Mountain View company wants to migrate users. In fact, Recode reports that Google Play Music will “eventually” be replaced by YouTube Music.
YouTube Music even seems to crib the recommendations feature from Play Music, touting personalized recommendations based on your listening history and location. Taken together, it certainly seems like a plan to merge features into the YouTube Music app and kill Google Play Music.
We’ve contacted Google for clarification surrounding Google Play Music and will update the article when we receive a response.