We’ve been expecting Google’s YouTube music and Play Music services to merge for some time now and next week Google will take a major step in that direction. On Tuesday, YouTube Music will launch a revamped mobile app and desktop player with a free ad-supported streaming service and a $9.99/month standalone ad-free subscription service.
The primary improvements over the Play Music app are the inclusion of official music videos and scores of unofficial remixes of prominent songs. Google will, of course, offer AI-driven recommendations and automatically-generated playlists to aid in music discovery, but those features are already offered in Play Music. That said, even the current YouTube Music has millions of deep tracks and remixes that aren’t available in Play Music, so the music discovery algorithms can naturally be expected to work better in the upcoming service.
At some undisclosed point in the future after the launch of the revamped YouTube Music service, Google will roll out YouTube Premium, which folds in ad-free playback of videos from Google’s vast library of non-music videos for $2 more per month. This new service will replace the current YouTube Red service and the $11.99 monthly subscription will be required to play all YouTube content offline and without ads. Included will be original content such as the popular Karate Kid spinoff Cobra Kai, Step Up: High Water, and Youth & Consequences.
If you already subscribe to Play Music and/or YouTube Red you will be able to keep your current subscription price. You’ll also get to keep your Play Music purchases, uploads, and playlists. Given the way Google worded their blog post, the Play Music app seems like it’ll continue to function, at least for the time being. I invite you to judge for yourself from the following quote:
And if you use Google Play Music, nothing will change — you’ll still be able to access all of your purchased music, uploads and playlists in Google Play Music just like always.
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