On the heels of the success of YouTube original series Cobra Kai, the Google-owned platform is splitting into two, new streaming ventures.
YouTube Red is no more — next week Google will offer either YouTube Music, a revamped version of its music streaming service, followed by YouTube Premium, which includes everything the music service offers, plus access to YouTube’s original video programming. The former will cost $9.99 a month, while the all-encompassing Premium is priced at an additional $2 for $11.99 a month in total.
Both subscriptions are ad-free, whether that’s just music or videos as well, and will allow users to download content and play it in the background. YouTube Music features an entirely new mobile app and desktop player that offers personalized playlists based on user history. Subscribers to Google’s other music service, Google Play, will gain membership to YouTube Music, which suggests YouTube Music will eventually replace Play altogether and serve as Google’s primary music platform in competition with Spotify and Apple Music.
On the video front, Google says it will begin offering “more, bigger original series and movies” on YouTube Premium. According to data from Parrot Analytics, original program Cobra Kai is outperforming several Hulu and Netflix shows and the series was recently renewed for a second season. There’s no set date on when YouTube Premium will roll out but Google insists it will be “soon.”
YouTube Music, meanwhile, debuts May 22. This restructuring of YouTube’s content platforms appears to be Google’s strongest indicator yet that it’s prepared to go to serious battle with the music and video streaming giants.
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