For the past several months, a revamp to Google’s streaming music offerings has been widely rumored. A new report today pegs the launch of the revamped YouTube Music for next week, while YouTube Red and other video features will be replaced by a new “Premium” service.
Update: Google has officially announced the new YouTube Music and Premium.
Recode this evening detailed the upcoming relaunch of YouTube Music. “Functionally the same” as the service today, it will includes features like personalized playlists based on a user’s YouTube history. As widely reported, it will “eventually” replace Google Play Music. Pricing reportedly remains unchanged at $10 per month .
In recent weeks, our APK Insights have tracked YouTube Music for Android working on several new features like SD Card support, “Recommendations” to replace “Stations”, and audio quality settings similar to Play Music’s. Just last week, YouTube Music redesigned its now playing interface and added a queue feature to control what plays next.
The other big change to YouTube’s offerings will be on the video front. The Google site will no longer offer one subscription that combines both music features and original content.
The latter will be a separate service called “YouTube Premium” where consumers can subscribe to access original shows. While it only costs $2 per month, users will need to already be subscribers of the new YouTube Music. In February, we spotted a variant of this name in an APK Insight of the YouTube Android client.
At a conference earlier this year, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki noted how Red is “really a music service” and that it would be coming to more countries this year. The latter bodes well for international availability of both offerings.
According to Recode, a “soft launch” is slated for next Tuesday with a sign-up page now open.
Many questions remain about the separation of the new services. One big one is whether ad-free YouTube for all videos — and not just music content — will be included in the new YouTube Music service, or whether that will be a part of the new Premium offering.
Another is whether the new YouTube service will have complete feature parity with Play Music by the time the Google-branded service shuts down. The most notable aspect from the latter is a cloud locker where users can upload and stream their own songs.