YouTube has launched its premium subscription service YouTube Premium and dedicated music streaming service YouTube Music in different countries of the Middle East & North Africa, the Google-owned company announced on Tuesday. Both the services have been made available in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Oman and Qatar.
YouTube Premium, according to the statement would start at 23.99 SAR in Saudi, 23.99 AED in UAE and 5.99 USD in the other markets. The premium subscription service offers users an ad-free experience and enables them to play videos in the background. So even if a user exits the YouTube app, the audio continues to play.
YouTube Premium also allows users to download any video on YouTube for offline viewing. The premium subscription comes with YouTube Music bundled in it so users can listen to music offline and without ads on the YouTube Music app without paying anything extra.
YouTube Music, as the statement notes, is a dedicated music streaming app (available for both iOS and Android devices) that “offers people the music they love and help them discover new songs and artists.”
The service allows users to listen to songs on YouTube, explore the albums these songs are part of, watch their videos, or discover their remixes. It comes with a smart search feature, enabling users to find songs with a few lyrics. The paid members can also enjoy offline mixtape, a feature that automatically downloads up to 100 songs on their mobile device for offline listening.
YouTube Music subscriptions, per statement, start at 19.99 SAR (19.99 AED, 4.99 USD). So if you pay a dollar extra, you can get YouTube Premium that offers a lot more plus YouTube Music.
The prices for MENA are 50 percent cheaper than what YouTube is charging in the United States for both these subscriptions.
Tarek Abdalla, Regional Director of Marketing at Google Middle East and North Africa, commenting on the occasion, said, “For over a decade, millions of people in the Arab world have come to YouTube to watch, learn and listen. Music is the second most popular category on YouTube and it continues to grow. We’re excited to launch YouTube Music which will give our users access to the massive YouTube music catalogue, helping them find the music they love, from new releases to iconic classics and from viral covers to live performances. We’re also excited to launch YouTube Premium, an ad-free subscription service that allows our users to watch all videos on YouTube without ads including offline viewing, background play and other amazing features.”
The statement also noted that Samsung Galaxy users in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Oman will have four months of free access to YouTube Premium.