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About YouTube Music and Google Play Music: what you need to know

Google's musical strategy is confusing, and his last effort to fix things doesn't help. The company has announced major changes in its family of streaming services that will arrive on May 24, 2019, including a reimagined YouTube Music service. These new services have been operational in the United States and other countries, but some questions remain unanswered after this initial announcement. We contacted Google to clarify the details of their new service and how to affect Google Play Music, which is the default music application on many Android phones and we'll tell you everything we know about YouTube Music and Google Play Music.


Google has two music streaming services: Google Play Music, which launched in 2011, and YouTube Music, which debuted in 2015. If you purchased a subscription to Google Play Music, you will also have access to YouTube Network (or vice versa), a version YouTube without advertising and with access to premium content.

Well, now, there has been a reorganization in these services. Last May 2018, YouTube announced a completely renewed version of YouTube Music. This new iteration has access to thousands of playlists, songs, albums, artists and others, and has interesting features such as the ability to search for songs through ambiguous descriptions or lyrics. There is a free version with ads, or you can pay $ 10 per month for YouTube Music Premium, which offers "background listening, downloads and an experience without advertising."

YouTube Red is now called YouTube Premium, and continue to offer an experience without advertising across YouTube, along with background playback, the ability to download videos for offline viewing and access to YouTube originals. However, YouTube Premium also includes the new YouTube Music Premium experience, so its price is now $ 12 dollars a month, compared to the previous price of $ 10 dollars you paid for YouTube Red.

So to understand it well, YouTube Music allows you to listen to music with ads, YouTube Music Premium allows you to do it without ads, and has some additional benefits. YouTube Premium offers you an experience without advertising on YouTube, with some additional features and access to YouTube Music Premium.

Both YouTube Music and YouTube Premium were put into operation on June 18, 2018. Currently, the two services are available in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States.

How much will it cost you? YouTube will give you three months of free YouTube Premium (which includes YouTube music), but then charge $ 11.99 per month. Now you can get YouTube music separately for $ 9.99, although you may want to invest the additional $ 2 for Premium features.


YouTube Music and Google Play Music

Naturally, with all this simplification you will think that Google will simply replace Google Play Music with the new YouTube Music experience, right? Many news websites speculated on this possibility when the initial announcement came, claiming that the well-known service will finally be replaced by the new YouTube music. That seems to be Google’s long-term goal, but in the short term things are going to be a bit more confusing.

In the publication of the original blog announcing the changes in YouTube music, Google stated that "if you use Google Play Music, nothing will change," but recently, the company has changed its speech. Elias Roman, product manager of YouTube Music and Google Play Music, said in an interview at The Verge that Google expects the transition of all users of Google Play Music to YouTube Music to be consolidated in 2019.

In fact, the company plans to eliminate its artist center, which allows independent artists to upload their own content to Google Play Music and track reproductions and payments, next April 30.

In summary, many users may continue to use Google Play Music for now, but their functions will eventually be integrated into YouTube Music and they will be forced to migrate sooner or later.

From Google Play Music to YouTube Music

Specifically, current YouTube Red and Google Play Music subscribers in the US. The US, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand and Mexico "will continue to get the features they already enjoy at the same price they pay today." In other countries, subscribers to Google Play Music will automatically get access to YouTube Music Premium as soon as it is available in their market, the first step in the eventual complete transition to the new service. It is not clear why Google Play Music subscribers in the US The United States, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand and Mexico will not have immediate access to YouTube Music Premium, but those from other countries will.

When asked if Google Play Music subscribers could transition to YouTube Music Premium with the same music library, the spokesman simply explained: "Nothing to change for Google Play Music subscribers." Now we have a better idea of ​​what this means, thanks to a Tweet from YouTube product manager T. Jay Fowler, who promises a "soft landing" for Google Play Music users. Users can expect their “collections, playlists and preferences” in Google Play Music to transfer between the two services when this inevitable change arrives. Similarly, according to Roman, users can still upload their own music to YouTube Music, a feature of Google Music Play that differentiates it from Amazon's music streaming service.

As Google Play Music is the default music player in many Android phones, we ask if YouTube Music get preloaded on Android phones and, in this regard, the Google spokesman said the company has no news to share ”in this regard , but since the plan is to eventually eliminate Google Play Music and replace it completely with YouTube Music, we hope this will be so ..

This is what we confirm, for the moment:

Family plans are still available for current and new Google Play Music subscribers. There will be no podcasts on YouTube Music or YouTube Music Premium. Instead, you can access podcasts through Google Play Music, or Google Search on Android, as well as Google Assistant.

So yes, Google's musical strategy is still confusing, which requires a bit of explanation, not very different from what happens with its messaging strategy.

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