Last week, YouTube announced that YouTube Red – a service Google launched back in 2015 in a limited number of countries – was being completely discontinued to replace it with two new services, the YouTube Premium Music and the YouTube Premium.
The problem with YouTube Red was that in spite of promises that it would be introduced at a global level, it always remained available in only a handful of countries, including the United States and Australia and a couple of other countries.
It never did take off the way it was expected to and, also, going against it was the fact that it gave you access to a limited number of original TV shows across YouTube; though they did allow you to download videos and to view them whilst doing other things on your phone.
So, basically, you could lock your device and continue to listen to the video in the background; but the fact remains that it was pretty much a limited service, in a number of respects, actually, and at $9.99 a month it was never cheap.
However, all that is behind us now, as the aforementioned YouTube Music Premium and the YouTube Premium services have much more to offer, at least on paper.
YouTube Music Premium
The YouTube Music Premium service has been conceptualized along the lines of Spotify and Apple Music, to name a couple, and like all other music streaming services out there, it costs $9.99 per month.
So, in return for the $10 monthly subscription fee, YouTube Music Premium is going to let you stream unlimited numbers of ad-free songs, plus, you’ll be able to download them to your device through a dedicated app called the YouTube Music, which is separate from the standard YouTube app.
It must be mentioned that an ad-supported free version of YouTube Music, similar to Spotify, is also being made available.
But, again, if you are looking for ad-free listening and also want to have the ability to listen to the music in the background, then a monthly payment of $9.99 for those privileges is not a bad deal.
So, YouTube Music Premium is a very interesting service indeed – very similar to Spotify, as already mentioned – and there’s a good likelihood that YouTube will unleash all of its artificial intelligence systems to YouTube Music in a similar way they do with the current YT app.
Of course, the AI support will make the service that much smarter and recommend songs based on your listening history.
So, by the looks of it, YouTube Music promises to be a very interesting service, indeed, and you just can’t help being happy that YouTube is finally entering the music streaming service market.
Well, it gets a much more interesting than that, since YouTube has also announced a second service called the YouTube Premium, which we’re going to take a look at now.
YouTube Premium is, essentially, an extension of YouTube Music Premium, in that it’s going to give you all the features and benefits of Music Premium, in addition to YouTube Red, or what used to be called YouTube Red.
When you subscribe for YouTube Premium, you’re actually getting YouTube Music Premium as a default package plus everything else it promises; and all of that for a monthly subscription fee of just $11.99.
In addition to Music Premium, you’re getting ad-free videos on YouTube; you will also get access to those YouTube originals and, by the way, YouTube has promised more of them, soon; and, you will also be allowed to download videos to your device for offline viewing.
This, essentially, means that when you subscribe for the $12-a-month YouTube Premium, you will get both the services on the YouTube app itself, eliminating the need to have separate apps for the two services.
What’s interesting, and, perhaps, a bit difficult to digest, though, is that the price difference between the two services is a mere $2, when the added benefits are so much more than what you’re getting from the base price.
Obviously, most people, if not all, would happily spend the extra $2 every month and get all these extra benefits on top of the basic YouTube Music Premium package.
Plus, you will be supporting the creators you watch, because YouTube will distribute the money you spend across those creators, based on the amount of time you spend watching each channel.
Of course, there has to be something in it for YouTube as well, which, in this case, is a small cut they’ll keep for every video you watch, instead of depending heavily on ad revenue – an unstable option for quite some time, now.
Another good thing about the YouTube Premium is that the more people subscribe to it the more it will enable creators to have a more steady revenue source and less reliance on advertisers.
While this ramping up by YouTube is all very well, what with a pretty much affordable price of just $11.99 per month for access to both the services, the fact remains that YouTube is new at this and may take a bit of time to be at par with the competition.
To sum it up, if YouTube can really deliver on what it’s promising, then an additional expense of just $ 12 per month is no big deal and should see the service become popular sooner, rather than later.
One does feel, however, that YouTube could simply have kept it all in one single $12-a-month package rather than have the Music Premium for $2 less because it’s highly unlikely that too many people will go for the music-only version to save $2.