Google is splitting its premium YouTube Red service into YouTube Music and YouTube Premium. These offer ad free premium content. YouTube Music offers ad free music with options to download for $9.99/month and YouTube Premium does that with added original content and option to play videos in the background for $11.99/month.
Music discovery is literally front and center in the new YouTube Music, with the app’s home screen dynamically recommending new listening based on your history, location, and activity. Air travellers might get Brian Eno’s Music for Airports, for example, while gym rats would get something a little more dynamic to keep their pump going. Google is emphasizing its diversity of playlists, too, which will also be used to suggest and surface new music for the user.
YouTube Music will be a direct match to all the major music-streaming platforms already available, costing $9.99 for the premium version, which adds background listening, downloads, and an ad-free experience to the free option. Anyone who already has a Google Play Music subscription gets YouTube Music as part of that membership.
Though Google Play Music isn’t going anywhere, the overlapping nature of both the services is hard to see.
The $11.99 YouTube Premium gets you everything inside YouTube Music plus access to the YouTube Originals library of video content. Google promises it’ll expand the Originals selection with “more, bigger original series and movies,” including comedies, dramas, reality series, and action adventure shows from the UK, Germany, France, Mexico, and other countries. With YouTube Premium, you’ll be free of ads, able to play videos in the background, or download them for offline playback.
YouTube Music starts rolling out on Tuesday, May 22nd, to the existing YouTube Red markets, with the small addendum that in South Korea Google will only be offering a $9.99 YouTube Premium service. The other countries named will also get YouTube Music “in the coming weeks.”