YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Add 13 More Countries to Reach 63 Total

by | Jul 19, 2019 | Music Tech

YouTube Premium and its sidekick YouTube Music are now available in 13 additional countries, more than a year after launch.

That brings the total countries supported to 63 for Premium, and 62 for YouTube Music.  The odd man out is South Korea, which has Premium but lacks the paid Music tier.

Google reworked its YouTube Premium and Music Premium subscriptions to be a bit less confusing, but it hasn’t helped adoption rates.  In November 2018, we reported that the YouTube Music app fell out of the top 10 streaming services in the U.S.

That was a depressing sign, and YouTube has yet to share worldwide subscription totals.  Meanwhile, industry whisper numbers suggest soft uptake on the paid side, with YouTube itself possibly lacking the motivation to upgrade users.

Regardless, the global march continues. As of this morning, YouTube Premium is now available in these additional countries:

  • Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Croatia
  • Estonia
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Malta
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Turkey

In addition to the additional countries, Google announced a new feature for the YouTube Music app. Now listeners can switch seamlessly between audio and music videos with a single tap. The feature is available to YouTube Premium and YouTube Music subscribers.

A video button will appear at the top of the screen when you start listening to a song. Tapping that button switches between just audio or the music video, too. The new feature is now live and available on over five million official music videos.

“If a song has a video, YouTube Music will surface a video button so switching between audio and visuals is just one click away,” YouTube Music product manager Brandon Bilinski shared in a blog post.

If you’re not into watching music videos, there’s a setting in the YouTube app to disable the feature. Then again, once videos are removed from the picture, YouTube’s competitive differentiation goes away.  While Apple Music and Spotify are laser-focused on expanding their presence through podcasts and other features, YouTube seems kinda oblivious.

Google Play Music is currently hanging in the balance between YouTube Music and YouTube Premium. GPM is a vestigial service that Google is likely to chop or fold into YouTube Music sooner rather than later. These broader rollouts for YouTube Premium are likely one more nail in the coffin for GPM.

YouTube is one of the lowest-paying royalties streaming site in the industry.  The YouTube Music subscription tier changes that a bit, and YouTube recently claimed that its premium service pays the same royalties as Spotify’s premium tier.

Overall, YouTube claims they paid $6 billion to music rights owners, with $1.8 billion paid in 2018 alone.