YouTube has launched YouTube Music, its music and video streaming app in India. YouTube Music will come with songs, albums, playlists (genres, mood, activity and language based) and artist radios, remix catalogs, covers and music videos. This will be personalised according to user usage. YouTube Music will have a free and a Premium paid version, which will cost Rs 99 per month.
- Premium users can toggle between apps, download content and run in the background while the phone is locked.
- On a Premium membership, YouTube Music will automatically download up to 100 songs that its users “love” (likely most listened to tracks) on their devices, without any user intervention
- Users can search for songs using lyrics or “smart searches” like “that rap song with flute”
- Google Play Music subscribers get a YouTube Music Premium subscription free every month. (Note: In India, Google Play Music is offered at Rs 99 per month, which used to cost Rs 89 a month when it launched in April 2017.)
YouTube launched YouTube Music in May last year. As of November 2018, it was available in 28 countries. The company also overhauled YouTube Red (the original paywalled service) into YouTube Premium. This service is also available with student plans outside India.
YouTube claims that it sees 1 billion users on YouTube monthly, and that 2 million artists share their music.
YouTube Premium at Rs 129 per month
YouTube has also launched YouTube Premium in India – this costs Rs 129 per month, and comes with a YouTube Music Premium subscription. With YouTube Premium, users get an ad-free access to content, including YouTube Originals, and background and offline play on the YouTube app and web. This is interesting, considering that YouTube is looking to bring its Original service out of the paywall, at least in the US. YouTube Originals reportedly launched in India in September 2018, with free and paid streaming.
YouTube Music will compete with not just a host of Indian music streaming apps like Gaana, JioSaavn, Saregama, Wynk, but also international services like now Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Prime Music.
The most recent entrant in the Indian market is Spotify, which launched late last month at a monthly subscription of Rs 119, and a yearly subscription of Rs 1189. Spotify Free is available without forced shuffle, every song available on-demand – which is interesting, given its recent move where it would kick you off the platform for having adblockers. The service offers music streaming in Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, and Telugu.