After over a year of testing Google just announced YouTube Music. A brand new feature-packed YouTube music and video subscription streaming service. This is basically all the music you’ll ever find on YouTube nicely put together and served up in a new way.
In fact, along with YouTube Music Google announced YouTube Premium, and that’s on top of Google Play Music, Red, and a few other services. It’s all a little confusing, so here’s what you need to know.
Moving forward, YouTube Music will be Google’s new music streaming service. This app will combine everything you love about music and videos on YouTube. It’s how the company plans to compete with Spotify and Apple Music. And yes, there are both free and paid subscriptions tiers.
What is YouTube Music?
Whether you want to watch, listen, discover, or browse, YouTube Music has you covered. It’s a new music streaming service with the power and catalog of YouTube in its back pocket. Making music and videos easier to enjoy, explore, watch, or share. You can listen to a hot new song, then watch the video, all inside the same app.
Think about everything that’s on YouTube. Millions of music and videos. You can find original songs, remix versions, live tracks, music videos, covers, and more. Combine that with an ad-free experience, background listening, and other features, and that’s YouTube Music.
This is a reimagined mobile app and desktop player that neatly organizes and personalizes all the music and videos you love. Then gives it to you for free, or for $10 a month with a few extra features.
How Much Does YouTube Music Cost?
This is all completely free, but you’ll want to spend the $9.99 for a YouTube Music Premium subscription. Free users will enjoy ad-supported videos, can’t download their favorite songs, and you can’t listen while you do other things on your phone. That’s known as “background playback” and it’s only available if you pay.
YouTube Music Premium is basically Google’s version of Spotify or Apple Music, a streaming service with all the songs you love. As a bonus, you get all the videos and content from YouTube at the same time. That’s something Apple and Spotify can’t offer.
For $9.99 you can listen to any song you want, watch tons of videos (without ads), and download songs for playback later. Like when you’re traveling. Yes, this is similar to Google Play Music, but more on that in a moment.
Notice there is a YouTube Music Premium, and a YouTube Premium. These are two different things. The music version is $9.99 and all about music. YouTube Premium is a more expensive paid option that is replacing YouTube Red. It gives you the best of YouTube’s video archive and YouTube Music all-in-one. We know, it’s confusing.
YouTube Music Features
Here’s where things get a little confusing. The features are everything we mentioned above. The ability to watch, listen, discover, or share music and videos you love. If you pay, Google will let you listen to music in the background, download songs for offline listening, and a bunch of other things.
What we don’t know yet, is how this will work with playlists, podcasts or users own private music collections. I have thousands of songs on Google Play Music, and I can buy more or listen to podcasts. You can’t “buy” a song on YouTube. Instead, you’re paying to stream it whenever and wherever, like Spotify or Apple Music. This is all relatively new, so we’ll update once we know more about the features. Google made no mention of podcasts in its announcements.
YouTube Music Release Date
The all-new YouTube Music app and streaming service become available on May 22nd. You can enjoy it in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and South Korea. Google plans to expand quickly after that to countries like Canada, Germany, France, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and more.
You can click here for more details, and to sign-up and get it first.
What Happens to Google Play Music?
So where does this leave Google Play Music, the service millions of people use and love. The service that competes with Apple Music and Spotify already. We’re not really sure.
At first, Google will continue to offer Google Play Music and YouTube Music both. In fact, Google Play Music subscribers will get YouTube Music Premium for free, at least for now. That said, the plan is to eventually replace the service completely with YouTube Music.
If you use Google Play Music, nothing will change — you’ll still be able to access all of your purchased music, uploads and playlists in Google Play Music just like always. We’ll update once we know more about its future, and what features (if any) will roll into YouTube Music.
I’m not sure what to think. The end goal here is basically to leverage the power, popularity, and content from YouTube to take on Apple Music and Spotify. This gives Google a big leg up over the competition. We’re assuming once they combine everything into one, YouTube Music will be an amazing service.
Google’s hoping users will pay for the full $11.99 monthly YouTube Premium subscription. This gets you the best of YouTube videos and the best of the new YouTube Music all in one. It’s how they manage podcasts, playlists, and private music in Google Play Music that has me concerned.
You might not want to leave your personal music collection behind, and I don’t blame you. We’re not sure how Google will blend everything together, but we’ll update this post once we know more.