YouTube launches premium services in the UK

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Google is also launching YouTube Premium.

We had a short time to play around with the YouTube Music app at a launch event in London and it feels like a typically well-designed Google app.

Today Google is launching YouTube Music and YouTube Premium in the United Kingdom as well as 12 other countries.

There's also the option of a £14.99 Family Plan, allowing multiple users access to the service.

Youtube Music is available from the Play Store, the iTunes app store, or via the service's new web player here. Access to YouTube Music is starting at $9.99 a month, just like competitors Spotify and Apple Music.

Music videos are included in YouTube Music but it's primarily an audio-only streaming service with "singles, remixes, live performances, covers and hard-to-find music you can only get on YouTube", as well as, "the full album catalogue of The Beatles!" With YouTube Music, you don't need to know the title of the song to find what you're looking for, as you can instead search in more general terms while Google handles the rest (Google's example of this functionality involves searching for "That space-themed Spice Girls song in the desert" to pull up Say You'll Be There).

You also benefit from music videos and the ability to quickly switch from a video to the song, a nice touch if what you're listening to is only available as a video.

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A free tier is available, but there is a subscription to remove music ads, use background playback, and download songs for offline playback for $9.99.

YouTube Premium is also launching today.

A dedicated Hotlist screen has the hottest new videos, as you'd expect from YouTube, with today's fare including IAMDDB, George Ezra and Nao.

While the regular version of YouTube Music is ad-supported, there is a premium version that provides ad-free streaming, streaming in the background (which means that when you open another app, the streaming won't stop).

YouTube Music will eventually replace Google Play Music as the company's flagship streaming service.

YouTube has faced criticism from the music industry for abusing its position, with the IFPI saying that it only pays $1 a year per user in royalties to artists while Spotify pays $20. YouTube Premium costs £11.99 per month or £17.99 for a family plan.

Google Play Music subscribers in all other countries will automatically receive access to YouTube Music Premium at their current price as it becomes available there. For that reason, it's hard to see YouTube Music proving all that popular without a subscription.