A teardown of the latest version of the YouTube app this afternoon has possibly revealed the existence of a new subscription service. The new “YouTube Plus” string appears to coexist with the current Red service, though how they differ is currently unknown.

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Spotted by Android Police in a teardown, version 12.37 of YouTube contains a string for “YouTube Plus” that suggests a subscription service similar to the existing YouTube Red:

<string name=”unlimited_brand_name_plus”>YouTube Plus</string>

At the moment, that is the only reference to a “Plus” service anywhere in the YouTube app. However, there is another change that alludes to at least one of its features.

Google has altered the string for the notification that appears when a video is playing in the background. It no longer explicitly mentions YouTube Red, but rather can be swapped depending on the service that a user has signed up for. This suggests that one possible feature for Red is background playback of videos.

There are a number of possibilities as to what YouTube Plus is. First off, it’s unclear which service is superior, how they would differentiate from one another.

Assuming Red remains unchanged, “Plus” could mean just that and maybe combine a YouTube TV subscription to the existing background play, ad-free experience, and Play Music. Given TV’s expansion around the country, this would certainly simplify the process of signing up for and maintaining both.


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