Over the past year, YouTube has infrequently made headlines for something positive. Between illegally collecting children's information and continually stricter guidelines on content, combined with advertising issues and a creator exodus, the company seems to be in a downward spiral. It was inevitable that Google would step in at some point and look for ways to deal with viewership and revenue losses caused by these issues.
This week, the company took the lid off of two new paid tiers for YouTube: YouTube Music and YouTube Premium. Paired with Google Play Music All Access, the company has 3 subscription services that revolve around music streaming, plus YouTube Red, another paid plan for YouTube. These new plans will go into effect on May 22, 2018. So, what does this all mean, what do the services include TODAY and what might be right for you?
Google Play Music All Access
This streaming music service was introduced in 2013 as a competitor to Spotify, Xbox Music and the other emerging unlimited streaming services of the time. Previously, when you subscribed to All Access, you also got a subscription to YouTube Red for free.
Starting at launch, for $10 per month, you will receive the ability to stream unlimited music through Google Play Music AND will receive a subscription to YouTube Music. This will give access to the YouTube Music mobile app, as well as streaming music and music videos.
YouTube Music is Google's new primary music streaming service. This service will allow subscribers to streaming ad-free music just about anywhere. It also includes ad-free music video streaming, both through the YouTube Music mobile app. You can also download the content for offline playback, similar to what you would expect from service like Spotify.
Starting at launch, for $10 per month, you will receive all of the features of YouTube Music, but there is no indication that you will get reciprocal access to Google Play Music All Access. In this case, it is better to subscribe the other way - for the same price you get both services, as opposed to just the one.
YouTube Red has been YouTube's ad-free subscription service since 2015. For $10 per month, users got ad-free streaming of YouTube content, while content creators received small revenue based on their views (which compensates for lost ad revenue for the creators). At launch, YouTube Red will be no more, but current Red subscribers will be converted to YouTube Premium at their current price (for an undisclosed amount of time).
The new name for YouTube Red comes with all of the previous features of YouTube Red, including ad-free playback and original content reserved exclusively for Premium subscribers. The biggest difference is that Premium will cost $12 per month, as opposed to the $10 for Red. In addition to all of the features of Red, Premium will also include YouTube Music, including ad-free music and access to the mobile app.
If you are a big YouTube fan, Premium is definitely a god deal, as it includes the benefits of Red and Music in one subscription. However, if music is your only focus, the features and availability of music on YouTube Music is not as impressive as Spotify, but runs the same price, so Spotify would be the better choice, for sure.