Business News Digital

New YouTube Music service launches in the UK

By | Published on Tuesday 19 June 2018


YouTube has launched is new-fangled super-duper all-singing all-dancing all-embracing dynamically-adapting recommendation-offering ground-breaking agenda-setting awe-inspiring will-all-you-music-people-promise-to-shut-up-with-your-relentless-fucking-moaning-now premium music service in the UK. Woo!

As you all surely remember, YouTube’s standalone streaming music service – which is different to all the music already streaming on YouTube, and the Google Play streaming service, and the YouTube Premium service that was called YouTube Red but is now called YouTube Premium – launched in five markets last month. Come on, you definitely remember that. Everyone was very excited. No one was very confused.

Well, YouTube Music has now gone live in twelve other countries, including the UK. It means that YouTube subscribers – rather than just using the video site for lots of freebie music – can now choose to pay for an ad-free music experience with the extra kind of functionality you’d expect from a more conventional music streaming platform.

Although YouTube Music initially went live in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea last month, access to the new service was actually rolled out to users on a gradual basis. As the service was turned on in twelve new countries yesterday, it was also announced that all users in those five markets could now access it.

YouTube Premium, the wider subscription offer that allows users to turn ads off across the entire YouTube platform, and access some extra video content, is also now live in those seventeen countries, including the UK. YouTube Premium replaces the existing YouTube Red subscription service where that was already available.

Whether YouTube can persuade people to pay to access content on its platform and via its apps is debatable, given how ingrained it is that the video site is a free service. Take up of YouTube Red in the markets where it was available was seemingly pretty modest. But now that the paid-for services are being more widely launched, we’ll see I guess.

On the music side, the new premium package is in part an attempt to placate YouTube’s many critics in the music industry, who have accused the video site of hindering the growth of the wider digital music market, and who want copyright law rewritten so to force the Google company into paying higher royalties across the board.

The major record companies have been somewhat less vocal in their YouTube bashing since the specifics of the new premium music service were finalised.

Though there are still plenty of critics in the wider music community. And YouTube’s long-term relationship with the music industry depends very much on whether it can quickly turn a decent number of its freebie users into paying music streamers, but without stealing too many subscribers from Apple Music and Spotify. Watch this space.