The service has been expected for some time, but an official blog post from Elias Roman, product manager at YouTube Music, provided the first solid details of what it will entail.
He said YouTube Music will offer millions of official tracks and thousands of playlists as well as a catalogue of remixes, live performances, covers and music videos.
Like Spotify, there will be a free ad-funded version, but consumers also have the option of a premium service, YouTube Music Premium, that promises to be ad-free and costs $9.99 a month.
In addition, another streaming service, called YouTube Premium, will be launched soon to replace the YouTube Red subscription service. It too will offer an ad-free experience with added original programming and videos for £11.99 a month for new members.
YouTube Music will launch in five markets next Tuesday – the US, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea – but at least 14 other countries have been identified for expansion, including the UK, Canada, France and Germany.
Roman further explained that YouTube Music will feature a personalised home screen that can provide recommendations based on users’ streaming history.
“At the airport? We’ll recommend something relaxing before the flight. Entering the gym? We’ll suggest some beats to get the heart-rate going,” he said.
And its search function works even if music fans don’t know exactly what they’re looking for, he added. For example, the search term “that hipster song with the whistling” will still deliver the relevant song, it is claimed.
Sourced from YouTube; additional content by WARC staff