Today Google “revealed” YouTube Music and YouTube Premium – but it’s not that simple. This is a re-branding and a changing of the guard. Much like previous Google app products (we’re looking at you, chat,) Google’s released several products that are relatively similar. Today we’re going to make sense of the whole lot.
1. The Timeline
Google started with YouTube and YouTube Red and Google Play Music, then moved on to YouTube Music Key, and YouTube Music, and a bunch of other stuff. It got confusing along the way. Today we’ll put it all in order, simply.
• 2011: Google Play Music (music locker)
• 2013: Google Play Music All Access (streaming music library)
• 2014: YouTube Music Key (ad-free Music Videos on YouTube, background play) (subscription includes Google Play Music All Access)
• 2015: YouTube Red (same as Music Key, but expanded to all YouTube Videos)
• 2015: YouTube Music APP (Curated YouTube App focused on music content)
An important distinction to make at this point: As of late 2015, you could pay a subscription fee for YouTube Red or Google Play Music All Access. Both were $10 a month, and a subscription to one meant you got the other for free. That’s simple enough, right?
• 2017: YouTube Premium $12/mo
• 2017: YouTube Music Premium $10/mo
• 2017: Google Play Music All Access $10/mo
Now there’s three services you can subscribe to, but only minor differences between them. If you subscribe to YouTube Premium, you get everything. Subscribe to YouTube Music Premium or Google Play Music All Access, and you get access to both services, but not YouTube Premium content.
2. Google Play Music All Access
Those already subscribed to this service AND those that’ll subscribe soon, both get the same stuff. The difference is in what that bonus includes. You’ll have gotten a free subscription to YouTube Red, but that’ll be a free subscription to YouTube Music Premium instead.
You’ll no longer have access to the full YouTube Red experience because of this update. YouTube Music Premium includes access to the YouTube Music app and experience: ad-free music streaming, background listening to ANY YouTube video, and YouTube and music downloads.
This takes away ad-free YouTube videos and will not include access to new YouTube Premium content (some new shows, movies, etc).
3. YouTube Music All Access
This is a NEW service that’s very similar to YouTube RED, but takes away ad-free YouTube videos. YouTube Music All Access includes all the benefits of the new YouTube Music App (coming next week or later), and full access to Google Play Music All Access. Also included: ad-free music streaming, background listening to ANY YouTube video, and YouTube and music downloads.
NOTE: The music library you’ll get access to with YouTube Music All Access is PROBABLY the same music library you’ve had access to with Google Play Music All Access. Again, the new YouTube Music Play APP isn’t out at the time this article is set to go live – it’ll be a lot closer to services like Spotify and Google Play Music (All Access) than previous iterations of the Google Play Music app.
4. YouTube Premium
This service costs $2 more than the others because it gives all the benefits of the others PLUS gives ad-free YouTube videos and future Premium content (new shows, movies, etc).
5. YouTube, YouTube Music, Google Play Music
There are still “free” ad-supported versions of Google Play Music, YouTube, and YouTube Music. They’ll all be jam-packed full of advertisements and won’t be going away any time soon.