It threw everybody for a loop when YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki described its paid YouTube Red offering as “a music service” earlier this year at Code Media Summit, but it seems like she was setting the groundwork for their newest launch. Today, a music streaming platform called YouTube Music has been officially announced and you won’t have to wait long as it will be rolling out next week.
With over one billion hours watched on YouTube daily, the platform revealed that music made up a significant number of the content streamed. According to internal data, over a billion people come to YouTube for their music needs every month and with over 2 million established and emerging artists uploading tunes it’s easy to see why.
Elias Roman, a Product Manager at YouTube Music, said, “YouTube Music is a new music streaming service made for music: official songs, albums, thousands of playlists and artist radio plus YouTube’s tremendous catalog of remixes, live performances, covers and music videos that you can’t find anywhere else – all simply organized and personalized. For the first time, all the ways music moves you can be found in one place.”
Here’s everything we know at the moment…
What is YouTube Music?
YouTube Music is a streaming service which brings together a gigantic catalog of music albums, covers, remixes, live performances, music videos and more. It’s been described as an all-in-one type of deal in their official blog with both a mobile app and desktop programme planned and appears to be a direct competitor to Spotify and Apple Music.
Following in Spotify’s footsteps, it will be available both as a free ad-supported service and a paid-tier called YouTube Music Premium.
When will YouTube Music launch?
Although YouTube Music has been in development for a little while, it will officially be released next Tuesday, May 22. As with Spotify, it offers both a free ad-supported tier and a paid YouTube Music Premium priced at $9.99 a month.
It won’t be available globally just yet, as only the United States, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Mexico will be able to access the service in its entirety next week. However, YouTube has said that there are plans to expand globally in the near future to Canada and European regions like the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia and Italy.
What is YouTube Music Premium?
YouTube Music Premium is the service’s paid subscription service, which will include the ability to download songs, enable background listening and scrap advertising. It’s currently priced at $9.99 a month.
YouTube will also be offering another subscription package called YouTube Premium, an update to their old YouTube Red offering, which bundles the platform’s exclusive programming with the new music service for $11.99 per month. Preexisting Google Play Music users also automatically score a YouTube Music Premium membership with their subscription.
What makes YouTube Music different from other streaming services?
While it seems like there’s going to be a few similarities to music apps currently on the market, the biggest draw at the moment seems to be the access to a wealth of remixes, covers, music videos and live performances beyond official album releases; all of which have thrived on its video service.
In the announcement, YouTube also promised “new and iconic videos” for hit songs currently dominating the charts including Drake’s God’s Plan and Camilla Cabello’s Havana.
On top of that, YouTube Music’s search function claims to work “even if fans don’t know what they’re looking for” – so for instance if you can’t remember the name of a current chart topper, you can find it by typing in something as vague as a string of lyrics or a description like “that hipster song with the whistling” (their description, not ours).
The YouTube Music announcement comes hot on the heels of another major change to music on the streaming service. Just yesterday, YouTube rolled out a brand new “Music in this video” feature, which credits songwriters, artists, labels and publishers at the bottom of a video description. Over half a billion videos have since been credited using the preexisting technology behind their Content ID system, a programme that cross-references new uploaded videos against copyrighted content.
More Info: www.forbes.com