YouTube Music is Google's new Spotify rival and it's live in the UK now

Also launched: YouTube Premium, a rival for Netflix that also banishes ads from your general YouTube viewing

YouTube Music and YouTube Premium

YouTube Music and YouTube Premium are live in the UK… Now. YouTube Music is now available in 17 in total, as announced earlier this month

There are more complicated ways of putting it but YouTube Music is a Spotify rival and YouTube Premium is a Netflix rival, that also includes access to YouTube 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!" 

Spotify-esquely, you can have an ad-supported version of YouTube Music for nothing, or pay £9.99 per month for an ad-free version dubbed YouTube Music Premium. Crucially for many people, this allows you to hear tunes without the app being kept open and visible on your mobile, as well as the ability to download tunes and playlists for offline listening.

There's also the option of a £14.99 Family Plan, allowing multiple users access to the service. They don't have to be blood relatives.

YouTube Premium gives you the Music Premium package plus access to YouTube Originals TV and films, including "the hit series Cobra Kai, Impulse, F2 Finding Football and The Sidemen Show." All the classics, then. 

At £11.99 per month, you can think of it as paying the usual £9.99 for the music streaming service, as well as getting a load of TV and movies that may well get more alluring over time, for just £2 per month extra. A Family Plan is also on offer here, for £17.99 per month. Arguably the biggest benefit of YouTube Premium so far is that it also removes adverts from all the videos you watch, saving valuable seconds when you'd really rather not be watching a Yo Daddy commercial.

Both YouTube Music Premium and YouTube Premium are available on a free, three-month, one-user trial.

Recommendations will be offered based on what you’ve played before, as well as location-based suggestion. As Google cringingly puts it, "At the gym workin’ on that fitness? Escaping during your commute? The right music is right here, built just for you." 

So there are workout playlists and drive-time playlists, basically.

There are also thousands of pre-built playlists based on genre, mood and activity. "Try Young x Dazed if you’re feeling dark, synthy pop or #LoveNewMusic for the latest big hits."

Voice search lets you find songs in the style of someone humming in a record shop. So you can request everything from “zig a zig ah” – for hip, new up and comers, the Spice Girls or ask for “that George Michael song with the models.” No, we don't get that one either.

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.

Interestingly, users of the existing Google Play Music service will automatically gain access to YouTube Music Premium as well. For now, Google Play Music will carry on as always, alongside YouTube Music.

• All you need to know about YouTube Premium

• …And also YouTube Music

• The landing page for YouTube Premium

Duncan has been writing about tech for almost 15 years and fitness ever since he became middle aged and realised he could no longer rely solely on his boyish good looks. He used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."
Pre-lockdown Duncan was widely regarded as the best-dressed man ever to work for T3 – admittedly not saying much. Post-lockdown he is looking forward to wearing clothes other than shorts and hoodies again very soon, assuming he can still fit into them. He currently writes about cycling, fitness tech that isn’t too heavy, and all things kitchen and home related.