Today, Google announced the details behind Youtube’s long-awaited music service. As previously expected, their plan centers around two separate and confusing services: One is called Youtube Red, which will be rolled into the video site itself, and seems to be more geared towards the web series/TV/movie side of things. The the other is a separate app called Youtube Music, which seems closer to Spotify or Apple Music in nature. Both will cost $9.99 a month ($12.99 for iOS users to cover Apple tax), but if you subscribe to one you automatically gain access to the other.
Both services will be ad-free with subscription, but only Youtube Music will be available with ads if you don’t choose to subscribe. As TechCrunch explains: “It’s designed to be easy to hit play and sit back. YouTube says the Music app will lead users through a “personalized journey” through the YouTube music catalog. In that way it sounds a little like Pandora for music videos.”
Huh. Youtube already had a beta music service in effect called Youtube Music Key, and this appears to be a continuation of that.
Personally, it all seems kind of needlessly confusing, a little dumb, and probably doomed from the start. I’m not too sure how this will affect things going forward, but a press release assures that “the free, ad-supported version of YouTube we all know and love isn’t going anywhere.” Youtube Red will be launched in the US on 10/28, and Youtube Music does not have a launch date yet.