GOOGLE HAS LAUNCHED its new tiered YouTube service in the UK and 16 other countries.
The move is part of a shift away from the Google Play Music moniker, towards a unified music branding under YouTube Music. Before that, it was called YouTube Red. And Youtube Music Key.
At present, both services are still running and will remain so until purchases and uploaded songs are migrated, which may well not be this year.
For the truly dedicated, there's YouTube Premium. This costs an extra £18 a month for a family plan. That's on top of the £12 fee for Google Play Music/YouTube Music (if you already had GPM you get YTM by default).
YouTube Premium is Google's home for original content, but instead of commissions such as The Handmaid's Tale and Better Call Saul, Google is basically pushing its biggest stars, like Pew Die Pie, with slightly bigger budget versions of their existing podcasts.
"YouTube Premium members also get access to the full slate of YouTube Originals shows and movies including the hit series Cobra Kai, Impulse, F2 Finding Football and The Sidemen Show." expels Google.
Yes, that isn't one for us, ta. We'll leave it to those millennial types.
YouTube Music, meanwhile brings together all the audio and video streaming options for a particular search - including remixes, videos and loads of other stuff that you wouldn't necessarily get with an audio-only solution.
"YouTube Music is a new music streaming service built on top of all the music on YouTube that you can't find anywhere else - personalized and all simply organized in one new app and web player," shrieks Google.
To make the most of this, YouTube Music users will be able to listen to content, even if the phone is locked, or they're using another app. Google had previously experimented with this functionality but has decided somewhere along the line that it should require a subscription.
We've looked at both the Android app and the web interface and they're both incredibly slick but so far not 100 per cent ready - GPM users will certainly want to keep what they have for the foreseeable.
Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom will join previously announced US, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea.
The YouTube app is available as a free download on iOS and Android, as well as via the web interface. µ
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