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YouTube launches YouTube Music and YouTube Premium streaming services

Can they challenge Spotify and Apple Music?...

YouTube has officially launched its new YouTube Music and YouTube Premium streaming services.

Following an initial rollout last month, YouTube has today debuted both new services in 17 countries including the UK, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, South Korea, Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain and Sweden. 

Like most other music streaming services, the newly launched YouTube Music comes in two tiers: a free, ad-supported version and a paid, ad-free version, which costs $9.99 a month and also allows background listening, via audio tracks only, and downloads. 

YouTube Premium, which costs an extra $2 at $11.99 per month, includes all the features of YouTube Music as well as additional background listening for videos. The Premium version also allows for ad-free access across all content on YouTube properties as well as access to YouTube Originals, the platform’s channel for new original series and movies. 

YouTube Music aims to provide an all-encompassing music streaming service for users with a focus on music discovery. It’s mobile app and desktop versions, which are designed specifically for music, feature traditional album versions of songs plus live performances, remixes, covers and more — similar to what you would find via the standard YouTube platform. The home screen will regularly update users with new recommendations based on listening history, location and activity. It also features intelligent search that uses machine learning for better search results.

Users in the US, Australia, New Zealand, or Mexico who are already subscribed to Google Play Music — the music and podcast streaming service and online music locker operated by YouTube parent company Google — will receive access to YouTube Premium; Google Play Music subscribers in other countries will receive access to YouTube Music Premium at their current price once it becomes available in their territory. 

YouTube is currently offering a limited promotion for a free three-month trial of YouTube Music.

In other YouTube news, the video-sharing website recently deleted more than 30 UK drill videos from its platform that police claim incite violence. 

View the trailers for YouTube Music and its app below.