YouTube has launched YouTube Music, YouTube Music Premium and YouTube Premium services in India.
YouTube Music is a music streaming service specifically made for official songs, albums, playlists and artist radio plus YouTube’s catalog of remixes, live performances, covers and music videos.
YouTube Music Premium
While this add supported service is free, YouTube has also launched YouTube Music Premium, a paid service that allows users to play a music video in the background, even with the phone screen being locked. The premium subscription supports offline downloads and provides an ad free experience.
Priced at Rs 99 per month YouTube Music Premium is considerably cheaper than other global music streaming services like Apple Music (Rs 120/month) and newly launched Spotify (paid subscription starting @ Rs 119/month). YouTube has also introduced a family plan priced at Rs 149 per month for up to 6 members of the family. The service will be available as a mobile app and a web-based interface made for music streaming. Google Play Music users can enjoy YouTube Music Premium as part of their monthly subscription. YouTube has also announced an introductory offer whereby users will be able to enjoy three months ( one month for family subscription) of free YouTube Music Premium subscription.
Announcing the launch of YouTube Music in India, Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music, YouTube said, “India is where the multi-lingual music scene thrives. It’s interesting to note how Indian artists have consistently claimed top spots over the last few months in the Global YouTube Top Artists chart. With YouTube Music, we are hoping to bring the best in global and Indian music to millions of fans across India, and give them an immersive music experience, with the magic of music on YouTube.”
By launching its premium service in India, YouTube wants to leverage on its massive popularity in the country. According to IFPI’s Music Consumer Insights Report 2018, 47% of time spent listening to on-demand music in India is on YouTube. Moreover the popularity of YouTube in India can be understood with T-Series, the Indian music label and movie production company inching closer towards overtaking PewDiePie’s (highest YouTube subscribers) subscriber base.
Going beyond its music streaming service YouTube has also launched YouTube Premium. Priced at Rs 129 per month and Rs 189 per month for a family plan (maximum 6 members) YouTube Premium subscribers will be able to access the full slate of YouTube Originals shows and movies including the hit series Cobra Kai, Impulse, F2 Finding Football and The Sidemen Show along with an ad free experience, background and offline play across all of YouTube. YouTube Premium subscribers will be able to enjoy the benefits of YouTube Music Premium at no additional cost. Samsung Galaxy S10 users can enjoy 4 months of free, uninterrupted access to YouTube Premium.
T.Jay Fowler, Director of Product Management, Music Products, YouTube said, “We know that India loves watching music videos on YouTube — be it the vibrancy, choreography, stars and glamour. Music from India has always been so much more than just the audio. Therefore for us, with the launch of YouTube Music, all the emphasis is on the familiar and to make every user experience richer as they start using the service. From recommended music videos, live performances, covers, to new videos — it’s all here, and only here.”
YouTube Premium with its limited catalog of original content do not pose a threat in the near future to other well established Indian video streaming apps like Hotstar and Zee5 or its international competitors like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
YouTube Music and YouTube Premium rolled out its services in June last year.