YouTube Music and YouTube Premium Finally Launch

Staff Writer
Updated

Oct. 9 Update: Google's giving 6 fee months of YouTube Premium with the Google Home Hub.

YouTube Music would change from a music video-focused app to a streaming service meant to compete with Spotify, and YouTube Red was to become YouTube Premium.

But as of May 30, I still saw 'Red' when I opened YouTube (I pay for YouTube Red/Premium), and I still got a "The new YouTube Music is coming soon" when I try to open it in my browser. On June 18, though, both services launched at a wider scale.

So, what's was the holdup?

I revisited the official YouTube blog to see if there were any answers, and I kinda got one. On May 22, a blog post noted "Today, we’re excited to start rolling out early access of the new YouTube Music in the U.S., Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea."

So, it's a staggered rollout. While these are all-too-common in tech today for new features in apps, it feels odd for a major new service to see the same vague release schedule. 

MORE: Spotify Free vs Premium: Should You Pay to Play?

Why are we so excited to test these services out? I'm looking forward to seeing how well YouTube's video library can be integrated into the app, as neither Apple nor Spotify do this well.

Also, I've long been a proponent of Google Play Music, the predecessor to YouTube Music, because it did such a good job with letting you upload your own songs to the cloud (something Spotify doesn't do). While that feature won't be available at launch, it is coming eventually.