YouTube has announced it is launching a brand new music streaming service called YouTube Music.
The new service will begin rolling out to the US, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea next week, before coming to the UK and select other territories in the coming weeks. Google's music streaming efforts have been somewhat confusing in recent years, so the introduction of YouTube Music should help streamline its product offering. We caught wind of a new service coming last year and it was meant to arrive in March, so it's only a couple of months late.
But what exactly is YouTube Music? It is a mobile app and desktop player that gives you access to millions of songs. If you can already find it as a video on YouTube, you will be able to find it as a streamable track. The home screen constantly changes to offer song recommendations based on your listening habits or where you are in the world. If you're at the gym for example, it will suggest various workout playlists.
However, with YouTube's backing, you also get access to millions of music videos. It's not just official artist videos either, as you can also stream any remixes or live versions of songs you can find on the video streaming service, something rival services can't offer. YouTube Music has a comprehensive search function too, that you can use to find songs even if you don't know the name or artist. As long as you describe it well, or provide a line or two of lyrics, it will give you the song you want.
YouTube Music will be available to use for free, but this will have ads that will play every few songs. You also won't be able to download music for offline listening on this tier either. For ad-free music and downloads, you will need to subscribe to YouTube Music Premium.
Music Premium will cost $9.99 a month - and we assume £9.99 in the UK - although if you already subscribe to Google Play Music you will be automatically be given a YouTube Music Premium subscription to run alongside the Google one. All your Google playlists and purchases will remain safe.
YouTube will also be launching YouTube Premium, the new name for its YouTube Red service. YouTube Premium will allow you to watch unlimited videos, completely ad-free and let you download them too. You will also be given access to YouTube Original content and it comes with YouTube Music included. Because of the extra services it provides, YouTube Premium will cost $11.99. If you already subscribe to YouTube Red, you will be automatically transferred over without a price increase.