Just a couple of weeks after Swedish streaming company Spotify entered Indian market, Google Inc. has launched YouTube Music and YouTube Premium in the country. As the name suggests, YouTube Music is the music streaming application (available as free and premium), whereas YouTube Premium will be subscription-based ad-free access to millions of videos on YouTube.
Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music, YouTube says, "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."
The YouTube Music is said to be a reimagined, made-for-music app and web player with official songs, albums, thousands of playlists and artist radio plus YouTube's catalogue of remixes, live performances, covers and music videos. The ad-supported version of YouTube Music will be available for free, whereas the YouTube Music Premium is priced at Rs 99 per month free. This paid membership offers an ad-free experience and offline downloads. It also allows users to play a YouTube music video in the background while they toggle between apps, write a text message or lock the phone while going for a run. For existing Google Play Music subscribers, YouTube Music Premium membership comes as part of the existing subscription each month. They will be able to access all their purchased music, uploads and playlists in Google Play Music as always.
This new music streaming service will compete against the already available Amazon Music, Apple Music, JioSaavn, Gaana, and Spotify. Available for download from Google Play Store and iOS App Store, there is a special introductory offer of 3 months free for YouTube Music Premium that can be redeemed by March 31, 2020. This offer is available only to the customers who are not current YouTube Premium, YouTube Music Premium or Google Play Music subscribers. And at the end of the trial period, users will be automatically charged the standard subscription price unless cancelled before the end of the trial.
T.Jay Fowler, Director of Product Management, Music Products, YouTube says, "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."
In addition to the music streaming service, Google Inc. has launched YouTube Premium as well. First launched as YouTube Red in 2015, the service was later renamed as YouTube Premium in May 2018. Priced at Rs 129 per month, it not just includes an ad-free experience with background play and offline downloads for millions of videos on YouTube, but gives access to all YouTube Originals, including Cobra Kai, BTS: Burn The Stage. It also includes membership to YouTube Music Premium. Samsung Galaxy S10 users can avail four months of free, ad-free access to YouTube Premium.
Over the last couple of years, music and video streaming services have picked up in India. A number of international players, as well as domestic players, have been launching their services at aggressive price points.