Google has announced that it is splitting its YouTube Red service into YouTube Music, and YouTube Premium.
Google is getting rid of YouTube Red in favour of two service levels: the YouTube Music streaming service that will compete directly with the likes of Spotify with a free plan, and an ad-free plan at $9.99 per month; and the YouTube Premium streaming service for video content, at $11.99 per month.
YouTube Music comes with a new mobile player and a desktop player that have both been redesigned especially for music. The service combines original versions of songs with access to “thousands” playlists, remixes, covers, live versions, and of course, music videos, that are related to them. It also uses AI to help discover songs for its users intelligently. Users can discover music based on their history, location, or activity, which is really interesting.
If you’re wondering what happens if you already have a Google Play Music subscription you will be pleased to know that you also get YouTube Music as part of it. Google isn’t doing away with Play Music for the time being, although it’s highly possible that it will eventually.
YouTube Premium adds video content from the YouTube Originals library to YouTube Music for the extra $2. Google also says it will expand the Originals selection with “more, bigger original series and movies,” that will include comedies, dramas, reality series, and action adventure shows.
YouTube Premium will be free of ads, and you will be able to download videos to view offline if you like. YouTube Music starts rolling out on Tuesday, May 22nd, to the all the markets in which YouTube Red already exists, 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.”