YouTube's rebranded and revamped music streaming service is finally rolling out to more countries following a soft launch in the United States last month, allowing international folks to try out a decent alternative to either Spotify or Apple Music.
The rollout includes both YouTube Music and YouTube Premium, the company's ad-free video service that was previously called YouTube Red. Both of those services are now available in the following countries:
• United States
• New Zealand
• South Korea
YouTube Music, as mentioned, is Google's brand-new and all-encompassing music streaming service, which includes a newly revamped app in addition to a new desktop interface specifically designed to better curate music.
The service offers live versions of songs or their album variants, plus music from independent and unsigned artists, remixes, covers, and a lot more. What makes YouTube Music stand out from the competition is the fact that it's all about discovery — the service will offer new recommendations constantly, basing them on the listener's history, location, and habits. It also boasts machine learning-powered search features, which means it's able to understand and return the right results for queries that Spotify and Apple Music often miss.
Like rival services, YouTube Music offers free and premium tiers. The free option comes with ads, of course, while the premium option takes away the ads and allows offline listening for a monthly fee of $9.99. Alternatively, users can opt to pay a flat $11.99 fee every month to get access to YouTube Premium, which includes all the premium features of YouTube Music, in addition to an ad-free experience across all content on the site. Plus, it gives users access to YouTube Originals, the company's lineup of original content. While it's not as robust as Netflix's or Amazon's offerings, there's still probably something there that you might like.
Google promises that the YouTube Originals lineup will expand overtime with "bigger original series and movies," including comedies, dramas, reality shows, and action-adventure programming from various countries.
It's hard to imagine YouTube becoming a TV powerhouse all of a sudden. After all, Netflix spends billions upon billions of dollars every year just to make content, but it seems YouTube isn't really aiming to be the next Netflix — it just wants to offer content that's decent enough to make people subscribe.
Would you pay for YouTube Music or YouTube Premium? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!