Providing a platform that can rival the likes of Spotify and Apple for their current streaming service’s would take a giant company with plenty of years of experience, a loyal and vast fan base, and a lot of money to be invested. By that reckoning, it would probably take the biggest music site in the world, so its great news that YouTube fit the bill and are bringing their new music streaming service.
With the official launch planned for 22nd May, the platform was announced last year and is to be rolled out in the US, Australia, South Korea, Mexico, and New Zealand. An additional 14 countries will also receive the new service in the forthcoming, including the United Kingdom. Although YouTube already holds the position as biggest music site worldwide – with over 1.3 billion regular users – the site is not designed to “be a Spotify killer”, according to Mark Mulligan, MIDiA analyst. However, a competitive rivalry is set to begin with the one key similarity between the two sites: the services require subscriptions. Alike Spotify, a free version is available but will be ad-supported, whereas a YouTube Music Premium account would start from $9.99 per month. The service is set to use its bank of user information and Google Assistant to provide a personalised service that creates recommendations based on listening habits among other factors. Whilst YouTube is known for its impeccable range of content, YouTube product manager Elias Roman emphasises the companies “tremendous catalogue of remixes, live performances, covers and music videos that you can’t find anywhere else – all simply organised and personalised”. Those who currently hold a subscription to YouTube Red, which runs an ad-free, paid service, will automatically be entitled to the service as its rebranded ‘Premium’ version, including access to YouTube Music, for $9.99 as previously, whilst new users will pay $11.99.
Entering into a highly competitive music streaming market, YouTube will have to hit the ground running to take on Spotify’s 10-year long work that has built them up to hold such a strong position in the industry. YouTube have consistently delivered high quality products for a number of years, however, and look set to continue with their new service.