1. Science / Technology

YouTube rolls its music subscription services into 12 more markets

YouTube has rolled out its music streaming service to a bunch more international markets, adding 12 new countries today, and also launching the premium music video version of the service across the full 17 markets.

In February CEO YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki discussed the company’s ambitious expansion plans for the service, saying it was intending to expand to as many as 100 countries.

The first markets for YouTube Music were the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea. The additional markets being added today are: Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

YouTube launched the streamlining revamp of its subscription service offerings in May, routing a streaming music service, called YouTube Music, in pay monthly and ad-supported flavors (the latter with pared back features), to replace Google Play Music; and also announcing YouTube Premium (formerly called YouTube Red) — for music with video streaming.

It also announced new apps and web player in tandem with the service restructuring — which includes features such as dynamic custom recommendations; expansive search options (search by lyrics or generic description); and “thousands” of playlists across genre, mood and activity.

The audio only YouTube Music offering — which in the US is priced at $9.99 monthly (or $14.99 for a family plan) — is intended to compete with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music. While YouTube Premium includes a full video service, albeit for $2 more ($11.99) per month than the YouTube Red service it replaced. (Or $17.99 per month for a Family Plan.) Though it’s currently running a promotion offering the premium service free for the first three months.

As well as offering ad-free music streaming, YouTube Premium includes background listening/playing and downloads across all the platform. Members also get access to all YouTube Originals shows and movies.

The company says current members of YouTube Red and Google Play Music members (including family plans) in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico will automatically receive access to YouTube Premium at their current price.

While Google Play Music subscribers in all other countries will automatically receive access to YouTube Music Premium at their current price as it becomes available in their markets. It also claims nothing is changing for subscribers of Google Play Music — saying users will still be able to access all their purchased music, uploads and playlists.

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