Google is launching a new, premium streaming service called YouTube Music. The company is also replacing its YouTube Red premium video service with a new, all-encompassing YouTube Premium.
YouTube Music is a premium music streaming service that does away with all of YouTube’s major annoyances: It offers an ad-free experience, background listening and downloads.
In terms of content, YouTube Music offers “millions” of official songs and albums as well as remixes, live performances and covers. You also get artist radios, thousands of playlists and smart search, which lets you search for a song in descriptive terms. YouTube has given the example of requesting something like, “that hipster song with the whistling” or using lyrics such as, “I make money moves.”
Subscribers will also get a new mobile app and a new desktop player, both of which are optimized for music listening. And the service’s home screen will dynamically adapt based on users’ preferences, history, even location (for example, you’ll be offered some blood-pumping music while at the gym).
YouTube Music will become available on May 22, in two flavors: A free, ad-supported version, and a premium variant that costs $9.99 per month. Google Play Music subscribers get the best deal, as they get a YouTube Music Premium subscription for free. The price is the same as Spotify’s monthly Premium Plan and Apple Music’s monthly subscription.
However, you might want to put your credit card away for now. YouTube Premium, the rebranded YouTube Red, costs $11.99 per month and also includes a YouTube Music Premium subscription.
For the price, the ad-free experience, background playback and downloads will extend to all of YouTube. You also get access to all YouTube Originals, which includes titles like Cobra Kai, Impulse and Step Up: High Water.
The price is a bit higher than YouTube Red’s old price of $9.99 per month, but if you sign up for Red now (you can do so here), the price will stay at that level even after YouTube Premium launches.
YouTube Premium will roll out “soon” in the markets where Red is already available: the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and South Korea. It will also come “soon” to Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Google says it’ll expand it to even more markets throughout 2018.