YouTube Red is becoming YouTube Premium and increasing in price by $2 per month

Google has announced that YouTube Red, their $9.99 per month subscription service for YouTube which also comes with access to Google Play Music, is breaking up into two new services: YouTube Music and YouTube Premium. YouTube Music is a music streaming service that will be available for free with ads or for $9.99 per month without ads. YouTube Premium will be $11.99 and includes YouTube Music plus the same perks of YouTube Red.

YouTube Music will have its own new “reimagined mobile app” as well as a desktop player. It’ll essentially be equivalent to Spotify or Amazon Music Unlimited, but will also include music videos. If you pay the $9.99 per month for just YouTube Music, you’ll get ad-free music, background listening, and the ability to download music videos for offline viewing.

While YouTube Music seems like Google’s new flagship streaming music service, Google Play Music is not going away. Subscribers of Google Play Music will keep their current access and also get access to YouTube Music as part of their membership.

YouTube Premium is essentially identical to YouTube Red but will cost $11.99 per month instead of the current $9.99 per month price. YouTube Premium subscribers will receive access to YouTube Music, as well as the current YouTube Red features, which include ad-free YouTube, background playing, downloads, and access to YouTube Originals.

If you are an existing YouTube Red subscriber, or if you sign-up for YouTube Red before YouTube Premium launches, you’ll be grandfathered in at your current $9.99 per month price when YouTube Red becomes YouTube Premium. Google hasn’t said exactly when YouTube Premium will launch, but says it will launch “soon.”

YouTube Premium will be available in existing YouTube Red countries, which include United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and South Korea, but will also be launching in the following new countries: Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. YouTube Music will launch on May 22nd to existing YouTube Red subscribers and to others in the coming weeks.

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23 comments
  1. Charlie says:

    Never have subscribed to Red, probably never will. Now, if they want to offer a skinny TV bundle for 11.99 I would be interested.

  2. clocks says:

    I don’t listen to music, but found their original service to not be worth the money. Now it is even worse.

    • AR says:

      all google does is make things worse and worse, this surprises you?

      i remember when background play was just standard
      then they killed it on android but it still worked on IOS for like a year then they killed that too

  3. Gilbert says:

    Youtube TV is a big joke. $40/month and you still have to watch the ads. Prime membership is the best deal around. Free shipping, free shows and movies, and free music.

  4. Keith says:

    Background playback should not be a “feature”. At 3-$4 per month maybe it’d be worth it. It’s overpriced imo. People don’t miss a few bucks but if you have Netflix, and other subscriptions,then you’re approaching what the cable TV subscribers are paying. Except they get to watch local news & sports.

    • Juan says:

      Exactly what i have been saying about the so called cable “cutters”, maybe they are paying more or less what they were paying with cable tv.

      • TechyChris says:

        Agreed, “Cable Cutting” is a fantasy, you’d be better off finding a Unicorn. I know this is a hot-button subject for some but every forum I’ve been on it seems Cable Cutters never add the cost of WiFi, somehow they all must get it for free. I have Verizon, and while they have been good to me , they have also gotten smart, On my $150 per month triple play (TOTAL including taxes/fees) WIFI accounts for $90. TV and Telephone account for $40 that’s it, the balance is taxes/fees. It’s just not worth it to split up the services amongst different companies.

        • Tony Ramirez says:

          This is why I hate the word “exclusive”.

          This service will fail bad as there are other music serivice’s like Spotify and Apple Music. The only reason why someone would pay for Play Music was to get YT ad-free they did not care about Red content. Now that paying for YT Music still gives you the add ridden regular YT why bother.

        • Leo says:

          Savings probably vary based on location. I pay $77 per month, all in. I don’t care about sports, which enabled me to cord cut in 2001 (I was getting DVDs from Netflix).

          $42.48 50/50mbps verizon fios
          $5.70 ooma voip
          $11.99 hulu
          $10.99 netflix
          $4.99 google play music + red (until my prepaid credits run out in maybe a year and a half)

          I switch between fios and spectrum every 12-18 months. Probably takes an hour between cancellation, registration and set-up; that hour saves $240 annually.

      • tech3475 says:

        One thing to consider is that people may not WANT cable/sat TV.

        I have access to Sky because of family members, but I rarely watch it, instead using services like Youtube, Netflix, etc.

        Even if I end up paying just as much as I would for Sky, this combination is better for me in terms of actual usage.

        • Alex says:

          Yup cable/sat was extra cost that no one uses anymore. When I had cable I probably watch maybe an hour or so a week. Everyone is spending more time of on other services so it was a easy choice to cut out cable.

  5. beq says:

    Any word on family plan pricing for the new YouTube Music and/or Premium?

    • beq says:

      BTW I posted this elsewhere discussing G Suite:

      When will G Suite accounts finally get to access Google family sharing and join a family plan? This has been asked a lot over the years, and this impending price bump just adds to the latest urgency.

      My family of 5 still paying $250/yr for G Suite even though everyone had switched email to Exchange Online years ago (all services use the same own-domain email address for each person). That’s because everyone have been using their G Suite account as their identity for all Google services outside of email — years worth of YouTube histories/preferences, Google Photos backups, Maps, Hangouts, etc.

      Problem is once you create a paid G Suite account, Google won’t let you convert it into a free (non-Gmail) Google Account. And if you stop paying the G Suite subscription cost, your account gets *disabled* on most Google services even though these are free services. So we’re trapped into perpetually paying $250/yr just to keep using the free Google services.

      But I’d be fine with that if we can just get a YouTube Red family plan! *Everyone* wants the benefits like no ads and background play, but no way I’m paying another $10/mo for each person (x5), when the family plan is $15/mo for 6 people.

      Well.. as it is I’ve been paying $30/mo for 3 people to have individual Red subscriptions. So I’m already paying twice the cost of the family plan, yet the other half of the family still doesn’t have it, grr.

  6. Joe says:

    LOL @ YouTube. They get ONE series out of dozens, Cobra Kai, that is decent and they immediately look to raise the price. Don’t think it will work out well for them.

  7. Tony Ramirez says:

    The bit-rate on YT Music is a crappy 140kbps according to the stats for nerds same SQ as a free service.

  8. Anonymous287 says:

    And THIS is why I recommend NitroTV, people. Let the greedy cable companies go F themselves with their prices.

    • Masterblaster says:

      NitroTv will be sued by the content providers and you’ll be left with legal bill sorry anonymous

    • Tech3475 says:

      I find it weird that people will pay for piracy like this.

      Especially at their prices, I’ve seen legitimate alternatives for either less or only slightly more, depending on the content by shopping around and/or negotiating.

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