YouTube Premium and YouTube Music officially launched in 17 countries this week, primed to take on streaming bundles like Hulu and Spotify.
YouTube Music is a music streaming service that offers ad-free music, background listening and downloads, priced at $9.99 per month. YouTube Premium comes with everything included in YouTube Music plus ad-free video, background play, downloads and access to all YouTube originals including Cobra Kai, Impulse, F2 Finding Football and The Sidemen Show.
YouTube originals are somewhat limited compared to what Netflix puts out, but YouTube is promising an expanded slate of original content including comedies, dramas, reality series and action adventure shows from the U.K., Germany, France, Mexico and more.
YouTube Premium is priced at $11.99 per month or $17.99 per month for a Family Plan, but comes with a three-month free trial for a limited time. The services are available in the U.S, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea in addition to 12 new countries including Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Current YouTube Red and Google Play Music members (including family plans) in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and Mexico automatically get YouTube Premium at their current price, and Google Play Music subscribers in all other countries will automatically get YouTube Music Premium at their current price as it becomes available.
YouTube Premium, which packages a music and video streaming service together for a lower combined price, arrives as something of a competitor to similar bundles. Earlier this year, Spotify and Hulu announced a collaborative bundle that packages together Spotify Premium and Hulu’s ad-supported streaming service for $12.99 per month.
YouTube Premium is officially taking the mantle from Google’s short-lived YouTube Red subscription streaming service.
“Since launching YouTube Red in 2015, we’ve been thrilled with how people are enjoying the service, whether it’s downloading videos for a flight, binging the first season of Cobra Kai, or listening to the wide breadth of ad-free music. As part of ongoing enhancements to the member experience, today we’re excited to announce that YouTube Red is becoming YouTube Premium,” YouTube wrote in a blog post.