This week saw the announcement of two new services from Google: YouTube Music and YouTube Premium, with the latter replacing YouTube Red. YouTube Music is the company’s latest attempt at a full-fledged streaming music service, while YouTube Premium will continue offering the library of original series and movies that were previously on Red. Where this gets confusing, however, is for Google Play Music subscribers, which will exist alongside these two new services.
Google has tried its best to keep the debut of YouTube Music and YouTube Premium easy to understand, but it hasn’t exactly succeeded. YouTube Music will be available in two tiers, free with ads or $9.99 per month, while YouTube Premium is priced at $11.99 per month and includes all of YouTube Music’s features, like ad-free listening and downloads.
Existing Google Play Music subscribers will be able to continue using the service exactly as they do now, plus get access to both YouTube Music and YouTube Premium. The only difference is the pricing, which can vary between users. Early Play Music subscribers will continue to pay $7.99 per month, while those who signed up later at the $9.99 per month pricing will continue to pay that.
In other words, Google Play Music users won’t see any price changes, but because their subscription previously included YouTube Red they’ll have access to YouTube Music and YouTube Premium.
Now, the big question is how long Google will keep the Play Music service around. The company says Play Music isn’t going away in the near future, but that’s likely to change down the road seeing how similar it is to YouTube Music and how many features they share.