Google has rolled out YouTube Premium and YouTube Music in South Africa, the first time they are doing it in Africa, as the company moves to offer ad-free access to streaming music and all YouTube videos.
Google, in a statement, said the YouTube Music streaming service will offer music videos, official albums, singles, remixes, and live performances.
According to TechCentral, the premium music service costs R60/month, though there’s also an ad-supported version available for free, emulating the model used by market leader Spotify.
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.
This is available on a free three-month trial. A family plan costs R110/month and offers a free one-month trial.
YouTube Premium was formerly known as YouTube Red and has not previously been available in South Africa.
The premium version of YouTube Music offers background listening and downloads and removes ads.
Like YouTube Premium, this includes a generous three-month free trial. Family plans cost R90/month.
YouTube Music offers several features, including a home screen that “dynamically adapts to provide recommendations based on what you’ve played before, where you are and what you’re doing”.
There are also “thousands” of playlists across genre, mood or activity.
Users can search for descriptions, lyrics and even emojis to find the tracks they want to listen to. Search is available in the South African languages isiZulu and isiXhosa.
Google Play Music subscribers will automatically receive access to YouTube Music Premium at their current price.
“Nothing is changing with Google Play Music — you’ll still be able to access all of your purchased music, uploads and playlists in Google Play Music,” the company is quoted as saying in a statement.
YouTube Music apps are available for Android and iOS.