Google will split its current YouTube Red service into two new premium services called YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium. YouTube Premium will be available for $11.99 per month and will offer access to YouTube's Originals Library of video content. YouTube Music Premium will be available for free with ads or for $9.99 per month and will compete directly with Apple, Amazon, and Spotify's paid music streaming services. YouTube Music is expected to eventually replace Google Play Music, and will be released with a new desktop player and mobile app. Google has also promised to integrate its AI capabilities into their YouTube Music service, allowing users to find songs by entering lyrics or general descriptions of songs.
YouTube Music will launch on May 22nd (starting with South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, United States), and will look to enable Google to convert some of its more than billion YouTube viewers users into paid subscribers. YouTube Music will include features like dynamically personalizing the app home screen according to your YouTube history, activity and location as well as providing users with background listening and downloads for offline listening. The move follows the music industry's growing shift towards paid music streaming lead by Spotify and Apple Music. Paid music streaming has become the industry's biggest revenue source, surpassing digital downloads and CDs for the first time in 2017.
Spotify is currently the most subscribed to paid music service with 75 million subscribers. Apple Music and Amazon Music come in 2nd and 3rd respectively with 40 million and 16 million subscribers (estimated by Reuters).
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