YouTube has launched its music offering across the world, hoping to take on streaming services such as Spotify.
The company will make YouTube Music available in the UK and 16 other countries, it has announced. The launch comes at the same time as YouTube Premium, a paid-for service that offers people videos they would not normally be able to watch.
YouTube is one of the primary destinations for music streaming on the internet. It is used to listen to both official and illegitimate uploads of songs, many of which can't be found on official streaming services.
But it has failed so far to turn that into interest in a streaming service, or the users into paying customers. Despite Google launching a range of music services, including Google Play Music, and YouTube Music, it has continued to be dwarfed by rivals such as Spotify and Apple Music.
It hopes to use the features it has that rivals do not – such as the rare covers and life performances that can be found on the site, and its vast catalogue of videos – while making itself into a more traditional music streaming service that has full albums and back catalogues.
YouTube Music will be offered for free, in an ad-supported model. But to get the full experience – which includes offline downloads, as well as no ads – people will have to pay £9.99 per month.
But they can get the same features by subscribing to YouTube Premium, which costs £11.99. As well as giving customers access to all of the YouTube Music library, it also includes a range of extra videos such as original shows made by YouTube.
YouTube Premium will arrive with new shows made for the UK audience. They include "F2 Finding Football which follows the F2 as they discover football culture around the world with world-renowned musical guests such as Lil Jon, Becky G and more, and The Sidemen Show which has The Sidemen going on wild adventures with celebrity guests such as Nicole Scherzinger and Bear Grylls", YouTube said.
“At YouTube, we continue to support incredible European creators and the stories they want to share with the whole world," said Luke Hyams, Head of YouTube Originals in EMEA. With YouTube Premium we want to provide the opportunity to take creators to the next level and provide audiences with an all new programming experience inspired by the personalities and themes that they love on YouTube.”
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