By: Nick Gambino
After dominating streaming video content (at least when it comes to short-form content like cat videos and breakdancing Spider-Man), YouTube is poised to make a big dent in the audio sphere by introducing a newly redesigned YouTube Music platform.
YouTube Music launches on Tuesday May 22nd as a direct competitor of reigning kings Spotify and Apple Music. The mobile app and desktop player will provide access to a huge library of official albums and singles plus live versions of songs, remixes, covers, etc.
But following in step with YouTube’s awesome algorithm for finding videos of interest to you, the music platform will suggest music it thinks you’ll want to hear. By culling your YouTube history, it’ll recommend songs and playlists in tune with your tastes.
And if you have location services enabled it’ll even suggest music based on your whereabouts. If you’re heading home, you might be presented with mellow wind-down music, or if you arrive at the gym you might see music designed to get you pumped up.
Pricing is on par with competitors as well. You can gain access to the service for a mere $9.99 a month. That’ll give you access to all music, ad-free as well as the option to download and listen offline.
Additionally, YouTube Red is becoming YouTube Premium and for only an extra $2 a month ($11.99) you’ll get access to YouTube Music and all original video content programming like popular The Karate Kid reboot Cobra Kai. That’s like getting Netflix and Spotify for $12 a month, sort of. YouTube Red (now Premium) still needs to work on producing more hits, something they promise is coming down the pike.
For anyone currently a YouTube Red subscriber, you’ll be grandfathered into YouTube Premium for the current $10 a month price you’re paying now. So if you’re thinking of signing up, it’s best to do it by Tuesday before the launch so you can lock in the lower price.
YouTube Music will be available for free with more limited features and dreaded ads. But with the cheap monthly price, going ad-free becomes more tempting.
With the new service, it’s highly doubtful parent company Google would keep their own music streaming service, Google Play Music, around. The duplicate service with less features just wouldn’t make sense. So we can expect that to be phased out within the next year.