YouTube Music and YouTube Premium now available in India

Danny Woods
March 13, 2019

"We know that India loves watching music videos on YouTube - be it the vibrancy, choreography, stars and glamour", added T.Jay Fowler, Director of Product Management, Music Products at YouTube, about the streaming service's launch in the country.

While it's not really that hard to find music to play on YouTube, it can get pretty inconvenient to shoehorn a service that wasn't built for that objective. The company's also launching YouTube Premium for Rs. 129 ($1.85) per month: it unlocks access to ad-free YouTube and YouTube Originals, along with YouTube Music. If you only use YouTube for music, then the $4.18 per month for YouTube Music Premium seems adequate. There's also a family membership plan. As for the pricing the ad-free YouTube Music costs Rs 99/month.

According to the youtube.com/premium website, the ad-free YouTube experience, which includes YouTube Music, costs R72/month and provides access to YouTube Originals content. In comparison, Spotify is available for Rs 119 a month along with free 30-days trial. Subscribers of Play Music will continue to have access their purchased music, uploads and playlists.

YouTube Music is a music streaming service where you could either just listen to the songs or watch the videos as you now do in the main YouTube app. While streaming services have about 100 million users in India, only a tiny fraction of that pays.

After downloading and installing, Google will ask you to sign in with an email ID.

To personalise the experience, Google asks you to pick some artists you like - similar to how you personalise the experience on Spotify, JioSaavn or any other top music streaming application.

YouTube Music and YouTube Premium now available in India

Around 250 million people in India watched music on YouTube in 2018 and the platform accounted for 40% of the digital revenues for labels, as per the EY-FICCI report.

Thousands of playlists across genres, moods, activities or languages, including those titled "Bollywood Hotlist, ' 'Featuring Drake, ' 'Upbeat Hindi Retro, ' 'Cosmic Indie Pop, ' 'Kollywood Hotlist" and 'Tollywood Hotlist'.

Moving on to YouTube Premium, the second service being released by the Alphabet-owned company, it will be available to the Indian subscribers for Rs. 129 a month and includes a free membership to YouTube Music Premium.

Just like Apple Music, you can also play music saved on your device in the YouTube Music app.

Google is also packing in a bit of its search muscle to make it easier for users. Whether you want to search a song by its lyrics or simply look for "that rap song with the flute", YouTube has got you covered. It removes ads from all the videos and also lets you play them in the background.

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