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YouTube Music Relaunches as Paid Service to Rival Spotify, Apple Music

Google is also revamping YouTube Red, its home for original content, as YouTube Premium

Google is launching an updated version of YouTube Music next Tuesday, with the world’s biggest video site looking to grab a bigger share of the streaming music pie. At the same time, the company is rebranding YouTube Red — its paid service that provides ad-free viewing, access to original content, and includes a YouTube Music subscription — as YouTube Premium.

Yes, that means it’ll cost customers more money to watch shows like “Cobra Kai,” YouTube’s “Karate Kid” reboot, and also stream music.

The new YouTube Music Premium, costing users $9.99 a month, will remove ads from music videos — but not regular clips on YouTube. Users can download music for offline listening, scroll playlists and enjoy YouTube’s curated homepage based on their history and location. (If you’re at the airport, Google will recommend relaxing songs, for example.) The update will launch with a new app and desktop layout next week.

“The days of jumping back and forth between multiple music apps and YouTube are over,” said YouTube in a statement. “YouTube Music is a new music streaming service made for music: official songs, albums, thousands of playlists and artist radio plus YouTube’s tremendous catalog of remixes, live performances, covers and music videos that you can’t find anywhere else — all simply organized and personalized.”

Google’s plan is for YouTube Music Premium to replace its current go-to music service, Google Play Music. The tech behemoth is up against its rival, Apple Music, which has 50 million paid subscribers, and Spotify, which has 75 million paid subs.

YouTube Premium, the revamped spot for ad-free viewing and original content, will cost $11.99 a month.