Youtube launch new Music and Premium services - will it rival Spotify?

YouTube Music and YouTube Premium come to UK and 17 other countries - news

The new service is an attempt by the Californian digital empire to combat its fast-growing rivals like Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer. YouTube Music will eventually take the place of the current Google Play Music, but not for a while, and those users will still have access to their purchased music, uploads and playlists.

Google boasts that 1.3 billion internet users already listen to music via YouTube, but it wants a bigger slice of the paid-for music market. For the first time, YouTube is also detailing that a Family Plan is available for $14.99 in the US and Canada.

YouTube has faced criticism from the music industry for abusing its position, with the IFPI saying that it only pays $1 a year per user in royalties to artists while Spotify pays $20. Today, Google announced that they are expanding the availability of YouTube Music and YouTube Music Premium to everyone in the U.S, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea in addition to 12 new countries including Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. You can find songs by typing in lyrics, even ones that are slightly wrong and misspelled, and this works nearly eerily well.

In the UK, YouTube Music will cost £9.99 a month, while the YouTube Premium service is £11.99. YouTube Premium does include the Music subscription along with all the benefits of that service.

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Background playback is a particularly important feature of both YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium. YouTube also snuck in today's announcement that you can get three months of YouTube Music for free ($9.99 per month for a single account, $14.99 per month for a family plan after the free period runs out).

YouTube Premium also nets you access to YouTube Originals - YouTube's own TV series like Cobra Kai, Impulse and F2 Finding Football. Again, if you have not yet tried out YouTube Red, you can check out YouTube Premium for free for three months. "The right music is right here, built just for you". There's no word on when or if those customers will get a price hike.

While Google Play Music subscribers in all other countries will automatically receive access to YouTube Music Premium at their current price as it becomes available in their markets.


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