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Google Launches YouTube Music Service To Challenge Apple And Spotify

by May 22, 2018
YouTube Music Streaming

YouTube Music Streaming

Google’s new YouTube Music streaming music service officially launches on Tuesday, May 22nd. Like Spotify (and unlike Apple Music), YouTube Music will be available in a free, ad-supported tier. There will also be a premium, commercial-free version, for which users will pay a monthly fee of $9.99 in the United States, and roughly comparable prices in the service’s other initial launch markets of Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and South Korea. The service will then expand to an additional 14 countries in the coming weeks.

YouTube Music hopes to stand out from the streaming crowd by offering more customized listening experiences, using Google Assistant to make music recommendations based on everything it knows (and can learn) about you and your listening habits. YouTube Music will pay attention to where you are and what you’re doing in order to offer the best possible soundtrack to your life. It may sound creepy to some, but Google believes that its ability to harness the power of artificial intelligence will help the new service catch up to its rivals in the music streaming business. When you arrive at the gym, for example, YouTube Music will offer up a playlist of hard-hitting pump-up jams (if that’s your thing). Late at night, softer tunes will set a more relaxing mood. 

The arrival of YouTube Music represents an attempt on Google’s part to streamline and simplify its overall media strategy, which has struggled to compete despite the company’s nearly endless resources. Google has tried three times since 2011 to get into the paid music game, but no previous effort has stuck. Its first attempt was the Google Play Music service, which found a small niche audience but never met with mainstream success. Then in 2014, the company offered ad-free videos and background listening on mobile devices with YouTube Music Key, which also fizzled. Finally, YouTube announced a YouTube Music mobile app in 2015, which was basically just a mobile version of YouTube that worked in tandem with the company’s YouTube Red service. YouTube Red was a separate subscription service that offered ad-free videos, premium content from popular YouTube creators, and access to exclusive YouTube-original productions like the recent hit series Cobra Kai, a spinoff of the original Karate Kid films.

Now Google hopes to make its streaming media offerings easier to understand and more appealing to customers. Users can listen to YouTube Music for free with ads, or pay $9.99 for ad-free music. The only other option will be an all-in-one service called YouTube Premium, which will cost $11.99 per month, and will include both the ad-free music service and the exclusive video content from the now-defunct YouTube Red. Will YouTube Music finally lure users away from the likes of Spotify and Apple Music? Will YouTube Premium become a must-have service like Netflix or Amazon Prime?

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About the author:
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Jacob is a music-lover and audiophile who enjoys convincing his friends to buy audio gear that they can't afford. He's also a freelance writer and editor based in Los Angeles.

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