YouTube is expanding its subscription-based music and video services to the UK and a further 11 countries. The “premium” facilities strip ads from the platform’s content and allow it to be downloaded rather than just streamed. The music service is priced at the same rate as Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal’s basic service. However, the wider video content which supersedes YouTube Red is available only at an additional cost. It includes about 65 series including several exclusives featuring popular YouTube video-creators with the promise of a new addition on roughly a weekly basis.
However, it costs £11.99 a month for individuals or £17.99 for a family plan, which is significantly more than either Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. This may make it a challenging sell to users attracted by the exclusive video content but who are already satisfied with a rival music-streaming service. One company executive, however, suggested that what made the proposition compelling was the fact that videos could be played without ads, offline and/or in the background while apps were in use.
“I’m trying to say to people that it’s not a new music subscription or a new Svod [subscription video-on-demand]. It’s really YouTube done better, with those additional things thrown in,” Luke Hyams, European chief of YouTube Originals, told the BBC. Canada, Ireland, France, Russia and Germany are among the other countries gaining the services. YouTube Music Premium works on Android and iOS phones and tablets, as well as Google’s Home smart speakers, but not Amazon’s Echo devices.In time, the plan is for it to replace the existing Google Play Music app.
YouTube’s pitch is that “it’s all here” a reference to the fact that it hosts live recordings, remixes, covers and mash-ups that are unavailable elsewhere. In addition, the company claims to have a superior search facility to those of its rivals, allowing users to find songs even if they provide muddled-up versions of the lyrics.