By Todd Anderson on May 30, 2018 at 5:43 PM
  1. Todd Anderson

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    YouTube’s New Premium Services Offer Ad-Free Music and Original Entertainment

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    (YouTube)

    (May 30, 2018) YouTube is no longer seeing red. YouTube Red, that is. The popular Google-owned video streaming service is being repackaged into two tiers of entertainment: YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium. “Premium” delivers both music and video media, all of which is advertising-free with background play and download functionality, while “Music Premium” is a new streaming service designed to compete in a rather crowded music streaming category. Rollout in the United States is expected to begin soon.

    YouTube Music Premium is currently available for free with ads or ad-free for $9.99 a month, offering users streaming access to songs, albums, playlists, artist radio, and YouTube’s unique catalog of remixes, music videos, live performances, and cover songs. The company is rolling out a “reimagined” mobile app and desktop player designed specifically for music, backed by a unique search engine that can search for songs based on a simple description of lyrics or song style and an AI engine that recommends songs based on listening preferences.

    YouTube Premium, the new name for YouTube Red, costs $11.99 and offers the Music Premium service in addition to access to ad-free video and YouTube original programing. That means instant access to YouTube’s smash-hit Cobra Kai, the sci-fi thriller Impulse, and the dance drama Step Up: High Water. YouTube’s current blog claims that more new Originals, including “comedies, dramas, reality series, and action adventure shows” from multiple countries are in development and on the way.

    According to YouTube, current Red subscribers in the US, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, and Mexico will have access to Premium for current rates ($9.99). The same holds true for Google Play Music subscribers in all other countries. Customers in Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom should be offered access to YouTube Premium soon.
     
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