YouTube Red Gets a Revamp—But It Comes at a Cost

It will be an extra $2 per month

YouTube Red will become YouTube Premium and unbundle its music service. YouTube Red
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YouTube is giving its subscription service a revamp, but dedicated YouTube fans will have to shell out a little extra cash. YouTube Red will relaunch as YouTube Premium, costing $2 more per month for new users, and the YouTube Music streaming service will be available for purchase separately.

YouTube Red launched in 2015. Now, the Google-owned company will release YouTube Music on a redesigned app and new desktop player. In the U.S., a YouTube Premium subscription will cost $11.99 per month, and Music Premium by itself will be $9.99 per month.

A YouTube Premium account for existing YouTube Red subscribers will cost the same: $9.99. And those who join YouTube Red “now” can get YouTube Premium for the same price when it launches, the company said in its announcement.

“If that price changes in the future, we will give plenty of notice,” the announcement continued.

The date by when you have to join to receive the YouTube Red price for YouTube Premium isn’t clear. The company also didn’t clarify exactly when YouTube Premium will launch. The Google announcement says it’ll be rolled out “soon,” and a spokesperson did not immediately return requests for comment.

Both YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium will provide ad-free music, listening in the background and downloadable content.

The extra $2 for YouTube Premium will enable access to ad-free videos and YouTube original programming.

The company has invested heavily in original programming, recently announcing a slew of new programming, including a series about artificial intelligence hosted and narrated by Robert Downey Jr. and Cobra Kai, a revival from the Karate Kid franchise.

Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s global head of original content, recently said she wanted YouTube Red to be “the subscription service you can’t live without.”

YouTube Premium will be available in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea.

@SaraJerde Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.