If you use YouTube on mobile, it’s a good day. The Google-owned video-hosting site has launched a new version of YouTube Music, as well as YouTube Premium, which replaces YouTube Red in the paid subscription tier.
In May, Google announced its plans to shutter Google Play Music in favor of YouTube Music, which offers the same substantial selection of streaming music, in addition to the vast library of music videos available on YouTube proper. Google Play Music is still around, but it will be fade into the ether in the near future.
The YouTube Music app offers lots of live performances, remixes, and covers that you can’t find on any other platform. YouTube Music launches with a revamped recommendation system that skews closer to Apple Music‘s than it does to that of Google Play Music (which is a good thing). The scrollable home screen features a litany of playlists based on your viewing history, and utilizes improved machine learning instead of just saying “you listened to this album in the afternoon once.”
YouTube Music also offers a powerful smart search engine capable of turning the most inane queries (“Hold me closer, Tony Danza“) into accurate results, for both songs and videos. You can also toggle videos between “video” and “audio” modes, a cool feature that can save you some data in situations where you won’t be looking at your phone (or device of choice).
As mentioned, YouTube Premium also launched today, taking the place of YouTube Red. If you decide to opt for a Premium subscription — $12 per month — you’ll get ad-free playback (for both music and videos), background play, full access to all YouTube Original content, and the ability to download music and videos for offline use. You can also get a six-person Family Plan for just $18.
Confusingly, this is a separate plan from YouTube Music Premium, which offers a slightly watered-down suite of features (limited to the YouTube Music app) for $10. See the chart below for details.
Google also launched a YouTube Music web player today, which you can check out here. At first glance, it’s a little less organized than Spotify, but compared to no web player at all, it’s quite an upgrade. If you’re considering signing up for YouTube Premium, head here for more details. Both YouTube Music and YouTube Premium are now available in 17 countries, including the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico.