Bye bye Google Play Music. Say hello to YouTube Music!


While fans can enjoy the new ad-supported version of YouTube Music for free, we’re also launching YouTube Music Premium, a paid membership that gives you background listening, downloads and an ad-free experience for $9.99 a month. If you are a subscriber to Google Play Music, good news, you get a YouTube Music Premium membership as part of your subscription each month. And if you use Google Play Music, nothing will change – you’ll still be able to access all of your purchased music, uploads and playlists in Google Play Music just like always.

Also YouTube Red is changing to YouTube Premium.


Wait what? How does this relate to YouTube Red / Premium? What is the difference?


It’s the replacement. Difference is, it’s now fully split into separate products, and the video side is available in more countries than before. Hard to see how they justify charging so much for the video part. I guess Cobra Kai must have done really well for them.


YouTube Red is now $12/month, called YouTube Premium, and includes all the same stuff as before including the new YouTube Music (formerly Google Play Music), just for $2 more.

YouTube Music is now a separate service, for $10/month. It still includes all the music, but not YouTube Premium programming and doesn’t remove ads from YouTube.

It’s another schizophrenic offering from Google. Charging an extra 20% for a service which was doing poorly before, and hoping a rebranding will fix it. /shrug

I have no interest in their music service, and I block YouTube ads anyway. I would pay them $2/month for YouTube alone, to support creators I actively watch, but Google doesn’t want to allow me to do that. So I don’t.


Ah, didn’t realise the music part was still included in the video package. That makes a bit more sense. If I didn’t already have a Spotify ecosystem I might consider Premium, even at that price. Downloads and no ads is pretty nice. But not $12 nice


My question is whether YouTube red/premium is still a toss in for existing Google Play Music subscribers.

YouTube Music isn’t new. It’s been around for awhile, and bundled w. Google Music subscription. I never looked at it. I don’t watch videos, I listen to music as I’m driving or running around.


Yes, it’s still a toss-in and you will be grandfathered at the previous $10/month price if you currently subscribe. If you sign up next month, they’ll charge you $12/month for the same service.

At $10 it’s actually a great deal, all these services have the same music library and you get ad-free YouTube and the Red originals for free. But if you’re already using Spotify, you probably won’t watch to switch. Spotify’s music discovery is absolutely top-notch and GPM can’t compete. Maybe the new YouTube Music will, who knows?


Okay, so I understand what the services are going to be.

But I’m not as clear on what my existing subscription is going to be. I signed up for Google Play Music back in 2016, and I only did that because it included YouTube Red and it was offering a three month free trial at the time.

Because my original subscription was Google Play Music—that’s still what it says on the receipts—that sounds like it would probably convert to the soon-to-be-inferior YouTube Music.

It’s YouTube Red that’s kept me as a subscriber, so if I want to get in on that at $9.99, do I have to cancel my current Google Play Music subscription and explicitly subscribe to YouTube Red now?

Edit: Yes, re-reading the YouTube Blog, it sounds like that’s what I need to do. Having YouTube Red or Google Play Music right now currently gives you the benefits of both, but only a YouTube Red subscription will turn into a YouTube Premium subscription, a Google Play Music subscription will turn into a YouTube Music subscription. My head hurts.


Cancelled my Google Play subscription, subscribed to YouTube Red. Seems weird that Google Play charged tax and YouTube Red doesn’t.


I opened a support chat using the Play Music app, and the rep confirmed that I’ll continue to receive YouTube Red (now premium) w my family Google Play Music account.


Well that’s good news for anyone who doesn’t change, I may have swapped my subscription for nothing, but no harm done on my side.


Yeah, there was no need to switch. No current subscribers lose anything.


You don’t think the wording of the original YouTube blog suggested that switching might be necessary though?

Before switching, if I checked my YouTube account settings “YouTube Red” tab, it said very specifically that my price was “Free with Google Play Music subscription”.

Google Play Music subscriptions are going away. They are turning into YouTube Music Premium subscriptions. YouTube Music Premium does not include YouTube Premium, the upcoming replacement for YouTube Red.

It’s convoluted, but I can’t see any other interpretation of that blog post. I’d go so far as to say @mono’s conversation with the Google Music support is contradicting the blog info, not just clarifying it.

Again, no sweat either way, I didn’t lose anything by switching and if no one else with a current Google Play Music subscription needs to switch, well that’s great for everyone. But I’m a little annoyed at how confusing the message is from Google.


The wording was pretty unclear, but I knew they wouldn’t take that service away from existing customers.


It’s confusing. Existing customers don’t lose anything. All the changes are for new subscribers.


Yeah, it’s classic Google. Launching new products while keeping the ones they’re supposedly replacing, confusing the hell out of customers, raising prices for no additional value.


Fortuitously, I just cancelled my Google Play Music subscription and switched to Spotify for broader compatibility, so I don’t have to spend time sorting out how this would have affected me!


The only way this move could have been Googlier is if they called it Youtube+ and integrated a chat client.


The blog post technically says:

Current YouTube Red and Google Play Music subscribers in the U.S., Australia, South Korea, New Zealand and Mexico will continue to get the features they already enjoy at the same price they pay today.

So I just assume that nothing changes for my $8/month promo price (which itself was a weird remnant of Google Play Music All Access and YouTube Music Key).


As a UK subscriber to Google Play Music, I’ve always wanted but never had access to YouTube Red. The game music thunderdome has been ravaging my phone battery these last few months because I can’t listen to videos without the screen being on. There are ways around this but they’re cumbersome.

Anyway, I’ll see how this affects me and my girlfriend. We’re on the Google Family Library which links up most of our Android purchases so I’m no rush to jump ship.