YouTube is killing one of the best parts of Google's music streaming service

  • When YouTube’s new music service launches on May 22, it will be the second music streaming service offered by Google and YouTube’s parent company, Alphabet.
  • As such, if you already pay for a Google Play Music subscription, you’ll automatically get a YouTube Music Premium subscription included.
  • There’s one unfortunate downside: You lose access to YouTube Red, the ad-free version of YouTube.
  • YouTube Red is now called “YouTube Premium,” and costs $US2 more per month.

Sorry, Google Play Music subscribers – you’re about to lose access to ad-free YouTube.

On Thursday morning, YouTube introduced an evolution of its paid YouTube Red service. The service is now known as YouTube Premium, and it’s only available as a $US2 add-on to the $US10/month YouTube Music Premium service.

Confused? That’s understandable!

Essentially, YouTube is transforming its Hulu-style video service (YouTube Red) into a music streaming service with a Hulu-style video service upgrade. It’s weird. And it has weird repercussions in other parts of the Google/YouTube universe.

YouTube RedGoogle

For instance: Previously, Google Play Music subscribers automatically had YouTube Red access.

YouTube Red offered ad-free YouTube and access to original YouTube programming. By paying $US10/month for a Google Play Music subscription, you got music streaming through Google Play Music and ad-free YouTube through YouTube Red. Pretty sweet!

Now, instead of access to YouTube Red, Google Play Music subscribers will get YouTube Music Premium: A music service that’s strikingly similar to Google Play Music.

Here’s what the new music service looks like:

YouTube Music Premium (mobile)YouTube

YouTube Music Premium offers access to millions of songs over the internet or downloadable for offline listening, playlists, and dedicated apps to manage your library. So does Google Play Music.

In case you somehow forgot, both YouTube and Google are owned by the same company: Alphabet.

And that doesn’t point to a bright future for Google’s music streaming service. Why would Alphabet maintain competing music services in perpetuity?

For now, however, the changes for Google Play Music subscribers are limited to an unfortunate downgrade: no more ad-free YouTube videos.

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