Seemingly out of nowhere, Google unveiled major changes to its YouTube products last week. YouTube Red is being rebranded to ‘YouTube Premium,’ with a minor price hike ($11.99/month) and promised expanded availability. YouTube Music is turning into a Spotify competitor, complete with an optional $9.99/month ad-free subscription (included in YouTube Premium).
The launch was confusing for just about everyone, mostly because there was a lack of details about certain key points. Google Play Music wasn’t going anywhere, but its future became uncertain. Now Google has officially started rolling out the new YouTube Music in select territories, and additional details have been revealed.
First, YouTube Music is now rolling out to some users in the U.S., Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. You sign up at music.youtube.com/coming-soon to know when it becomes available for you. YouTube’s Head of Music has also confirmed that YouTube Music will eventually offer most features of Google Play Music, including user uploads:
Your collection, playlists and preferences will be preserved at migrated to YouTube music for a soft landing.
— t. jay fowler (@tjayfowler) May 17, 2018
Google also confirmed to The Verge that purchasing music and playing music stored locally will be added at some point. It’s nice to know that whenever Play Music is sunsetted (Google is currently targeting 2019), existing user data won’t go anywhere.