YouTube Red Becomes YouTube Premium

YouTube Red, the ad-free subscription VOD service launched in 2015, is getting a new name that will be matched with a new, higher price point for customers that are new to the premium-level offering.

The rebranded service, YouTube Premium, will be rolled out “soon” in existing YouTube Red markets (the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea), will fetch $11.99 per month, $2 more than the earlier price. Current YouTube Red subs (and those who sign up for YouTube Red the service before YouTube Premium is formally launched) will get the lower price of $9.99 per month. With respect to updated pricing, one exception is South Korea, which will offer YouTube Premium at the current price of YouTube Red.  

The new YouTube Premium includes the ad-free YouTube Music (a revamped music streaming service that will take on rival offerings such as Spotify and Apple Music), plus access to original series, including Cobra Kai, and movies (like upcoming sci-fi title Impulse) and other YouTube content without ads.  

RELATED: YouTube Greenlights Second Season of ‘Cobra Kai’  

YouTube Premium is also getting a wider reach, as it’s to be rolled out to several other markets around the globe, including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.  

Google hasn’t revealed YouTube Red sub numbers, but the service was reported to have about 1.5 million paying customers as of the late summer of 2016.  

As a stand-alone, YouTube Music Premium will fetch $9.99, ad offer ad-free music, background listening, and downloads.