Google to Launch YouTube Music Next Week

Posted on May 17, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Android, iOS, Mobile, Music + Videos with 35 Comments

Google to Launch YouTube Music Next Week

Think of it as the great rebrandening. Or something. But Google is taking yet another stab at creating a true competitor to Spotify and Apple Music. And this time, they’re actually using their best music brand to do so.

“YouTube Music is a new music streaming service made for music with the magic of YouTube,” Google’s Elias Roman announced. “The days of jumping back and forth between multiple music apps and YouTube are over.”

Launching May 22, YouTube Music will eventually replace Google Play Music as Google’s streaming music app and service. There will be a free, ad-supported version of the service, or you can pay $9.999 per month—the same price as the Google Play Music subscription—for YouTube Music Premium, which provides background listening, downloads, and an ad-free experience. Google Play Music subscribers will gain access to YouTube Music Premium, of course.

Additionally, Google is providing another tier of paid access with a service called YouTube Premium, which will replace today’s YouTube Red service. YouTube Premium costs $11.99 per month for new members, and it includes ad-free, background and offline across all of YouTube (videos and music, plus original series). Current YouTube Red subscribers can continue using the new service at their current price.

YouTube Music will roll out to the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and South Korea on Tuesday and then more broadly in the coming weeks.


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Comments (39)

39 responses to “Google to Launch YouTube Music Next Week”

  1. eeisner

    Please tell me YouTube Music will keep Google Play Music's great integration of streaming music and my local collection... they're the one service that does this so well

    • Daekar

      In reply to eeisner:

      I have been exploring other options that do cloud streaming because I was worried about this very thing. I did end up finding an Android app that largely duplicates the functionality of Google Play Music - it's callled... CloudPlayer. Not the greatest name but it gets the point across. You can stream to yourself from Google Drive, Drop Box, and OneDrive, plus it plays local files as well, something GPM never did. The UI is pretty good compared to other players, and it does include radio station streaming. It's not quite like GPM's streaming experience, but it's pretty decent for the rare instance where I want to listen to something other than my collection.

    • SvenJ

      In reply to eeisner: Since MS killed Zune/Groove anyway.

  2. rameshthanikodi

    as long as they don't make it available in my country I have nothing to care about.

  3. Angusmatheson

    I use you youtube in a browser a lot for music. It is easy and it is free. I’m not sure I’m excited to pay for it. I think it is hard to give something away for free and then ask people to pay for it. His seems like the same deal as Apple Music and Spotify paid...and with the video maybe even better. But I wonder how many will say they’ve been using youtube for free for years...why pay for it now?

  4. Yaggs

    I would assume they can't be changing the family offering... I didn't get any kind of notice it was being changed or discontinued... so I would assume all that stuff is staying the same.

    MS did this non-sense with Zune/XBOX Music/Groove... For some reason Google and Microsoft think that people don't use their services because of their names. Apple Music makes some sense because iTunes was/is how so many people started using digital music... but Google's and Microsoft make much less sense... they just don't devote a full companies worth of work to them like the established music only services like Pandora and Spotify.

  5. NT6.1

    Can we play local tracks with YouTube Music just like we do on Google Music?

  6. dcdevito

    It's just a rebranding of Play Music while merging YouTube Music (which was already included to subscribers as a separate app) into one. It's a smart move but it isn't much of a change overall.

    But I was already getting Play Music, YouTube Music and YouTube Red all together for $15/month (which included access to 5 family members) - will this stay the same?

    • IanYates82

      In reply to dcdevito:

      My thoughts too. I have the same bundle. I read elsewhere that I think the bundle ends up being converted to YouTube premium, which includes the music stuff and all that we got from Red.

      No mention on the family stuff but I assume it keeps going.

      Play music was fine imho. 99% of the time I don't want video for my music. It linked to YouTube within the app for when you really wanted the video. But if I'm working, or driving, I'm just wanting the sound. Will the average person be put off this 99% use case because it had YouTube in the name, implying it'll also use video and gobble up your data?

  7. JerryH

    I need to go read that and see what they are really saying as this sounds confusing. As a Google Play Music family plan subscriber today I have a $14.99 per month subscription that gives a total of 6 people full access to Google Play Music AND YouTube Red. It sounds like now I need two subscriptions - one for YouTube Music and one for YouTube Premium? Or maybe that means I just need a YouTube Premium Family plan to replace the Google Play Music family plan? Sounds like it will be more money either way so I guess Google wins in the end.

    • JerryH

      In reply to JerryH:

      And of course their official announcement (or their blog) says nothing about family plans. I'm certainly not buying 6 people each their own $9.99 or $11.99 plan. It also says nothing about their integration with Google Home - which today works really well. Things like "Hey Google Play Pop Life in the 80's from Google Play Music on Downstairs Group" (yeah, I am old) works great. I wonder how long it will take for them to do the integration work to get the new stuff working with Google Home?

  8. Chris_Kez

    If they can offer an ad-free YouTube experience, and an ad-free Gmail experience why can't they provide an option for an ad-free search experience?

  9. IanM

    You can get grandfathered in at the cheaper price but Google never rolled out Youtube Red to the UK. Sucks to be me eh.

  10. Bibbit

    If I wasn't already somewhat deep into Amazon's Alexa world I'd probably consider this. Though I must confess I'm not a fan of Google. Maybe someday Google will let Alexa users access this service.

  11. chriswong13

    I don't get it. Launch? There's already a YouTube Music app?

  12. wolters

    I echo the need for the personal uploads to be moved over to YouTube Music. I have several albums that may never be on a streaming service (XTC's Apple Venus Volumes 1 and 2 for example.)

    One thing I'd love to see is a Zune-Like slideshow of artists pictures...that is wishful thinking but it is the thing I miss the most about Zune/XBOX Music/Groove.

  13. Bats

    It's already a done deal for me. It's not just because I am Google fan, but this clearly fits great with my Google-centric ecosystem.

    I've been a Google Play Music user, since the very beginning. I once subscribed to the early adopter's plan, but then forfeited that for the family plan a few years later. 

    What I loved about Google Play Music was Youtube RED, that came long with it. For me, once you go Youtube RED and experience the ad-free videos, it's hard to go back watching ads. 

    I've always known about Spotify and it's popularity, but why switch to that service when I could get the same service from Google along with commercial-free Youtube, as well as Youtube Red original content? If I am not mistaken, Google Play Music had the same number of songs in their library as Spotify, so what's the point of making a switch?

    • DrPRW

      In reply to Bats:

      I'm a GPM subscriber who enjoys access to YouTube Red too (it came with GPM subscription). But what will happen to ad free YouTube Red once it becomes YouTube Premium? Will I have to pay $11.99 rather than the $9.99 I pay for the combined offering now (GPM+YouTube Red)?

  14. Elan Gabriel

    Once you go Deezer, you can't go back.

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