YouTube to launch revamped music streaming service

YouTube will launch the latest version of its music streaming service on May 22, updating old features and replacing Google Play Music in the process

  • By Fernando Moncada Rivera | Thursday, May 17th, 2018

Google, YouTube's parent company, hopes the new streaming service will boost its position in the global music streaming market. Its previous attempts to penetrate the market have been unsuccessful

On May 16, online video site YouTube announced it will launch a music streaming service at the end of the month. The launch is the latest attempt by Google, YouTube’s parent company, to penetrate the streaming market.

The new service, called YouTube Music, will differentiate itself from other streaming apps by incorporating video into its platform. Much like market leader Spotify, YouTube Music will offer a free, ad-supported service, as well as a version without ads, which will cost $9.99 a month.

YouTube Red, the company’s first attempt at a paid streaming subscription service, will be rebranded as YouTube Music Premium and will include original video content, costing $11.99 a month.

YouTube Music will differentiate itself from other streaming apps by incorporating video into its platform

The platform will benefit from having users’ existing YouTube histories, meaning it can provide accurate recommendations from the outset.

This is YouTube’s second attempt at a music app; the previous version was launched at the end of 2015. Google plans to phase out its current music streaming app, Google Play Music, to make way for the YouTube platform.

“YouTube was made for video, not just music,” said YouTube in its announcement. “On Tuesday, May 22, we’ll be changing that by introducing YouTube Music, a new music streaming service made for music with the magic of YouTube: making the world of music easier to explore and more personalised than ever.

“The days of jumping back and forth between multiple music apps and YouTube are over. Whether you want to listen, watch or discover, it’s all here.”

Google hopes the new service will be able to compete more effectively than Google Play Music did in a saturated market. Intense competition from streaming rivals including Spotify, Apple and Amazon has prevented Google from gaining a significant market share in the past. In 2017, Google Play Music did not even make it into the top five streaming services in terms of subscribers.

YouTube Music will initially see a limited launch in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea, before being rolled out to other regions.