Earlier called YouTube Red, the premium service offers ad-free playback and access to YouTube's cache or original shows and movies.
"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.
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.
YouTube Music will likely benefit from the close integration to the flagship YouTube app, that gives consumers access not only to official music videos, and master sound recordings but also related content like viral cover videos, viral dance covers, remixes and live recordings at a single place. To be sure, Hungama has been offering music videos on its app for a while and Gaana, which is now offering embedded YouTube videos on its app, is also planning to launch its own video library, according to a report by online publication, The Ken.
Both the ad-supported and ad-free versions of Music are available, and Play Music subscribers automatically get a subscription for the latter included.
Lyor Cohen, global head of music, YouTube Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music, YouTube told ETtech that its breadth of content will be a key differentiator from rivals, with video being "the lynchpin to the whole proposition". "Music from India has always been so much more than just the audio". YouTube Music is a different app altogether and unlike the YouTube app plays even when the app has been minimised. "From recommended music videos, live performances, covers, to new videos - it's all here, and only here".
Personalised home page, filled with recommendations based on your previous music listening preferences.
The Hotlist section shows you the latest and trending content. Google claims the application has thousands of playlists across genre, mood, and activity.
Smart search, which allows you to search for a song you don't remember, using some part of the lyrics.
With 245 million monthly active users across the country, India is one of YouTube's biggest markets - and that gives it a major advantage over its competitors.
Users can also download their favorite tracks. The premium subscription enables background playback and offline downloads (up to 100) and also removes ads.
Users can download songs or just like them to create a list of liked songs or albums. The interface is a simple black and keeps it easy to navigate from the home screen to the Library and search tabs.
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. Additionally, the paid subscribers will also get offline downloads. The plans start at Rs 99, with all existing Google Play Music subscribers getting YouTube Music Premium membership as part of their subscription each month. Here's how YouTube Music and YouTube Premium differ.
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Smith, Warner to meet Aussie team in Dubai
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