YouTube Music expands to 12 more countries
A 3D-printed YouTube icon is seen in front of a displayed YouTube logo in this illustration taken October 25, 2017.REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Ilustration

YouTube has officially expanded its music service to 12 more countries, mostly in Europe, after soft launching it back in May to only five. As YouTube Music grows, it can be expected that Google Play Music will soon be gone.

The YouTube Music app is now available for free download in Canada, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Italy, Austria, Spain, Ireland, France, and the UK, in addition to the US, Mexico, South Korea, New Zealand, and Australia. YouTube Premium, formerly YouTube Red, will also be available in these countries. This service provides subscribers with the benefits of Music Premium on top of an ad-free streaming, background playback, and downloading across all of YouTube. YouTube Premium price starts at $11.99 per month.

Google Play Music ends soon

YouTube Music has been revamped and is touted to replace Google Play Music, although the Google-owned company is not really straightforward about it. In May, the new version of YouTube Music arrived and with it are the arrival of a desktop version, streamlined and personalized music suggestions, and the use of its own AI technology for lyrics and descriptions-based searches.

While the search giant has kept mum about its rumored plan to shut down the Google Play Music service, which is conceptually similar to YouTube Music, the head of music at YouTube, T. Jay Fowler, has addressed the concerns of users after the rumored end of service stirred up confusion, which would leave them worried about the fate of their carefully curated music playlists if closure is indeed looming.

On Twitter, Fowler says collections, playlists, and preferences from the app will be preserved and migrated to the new YouTube Music service. Asked about what will happen to Google Play Music collections, playlists, and preferences, Fowler stresses that they "will do the heavy lifting" for the users and in carrying over their data to the new service, as they are.

Fowler, however, has not addressed if users will have to pay a premium to access the data in question and when these data will be transferred from Google Play Music to YouTube Music. That said, Google Play Music users will still be able to access and add purchased music, uploads, and playlists in Google Play Music as previously announced in its corporate blog.

YouTube Music Rivals

The reimagined YouTube Music service is the search giant's take on Apple Music and Spotify, two of the biggest music streaming apps worldwide. Like its existing rivals, YouTube Music allows paid members to download songs for offline playback as well as listen to music ad-free.

Setting that aside, YouTube Music subscribers have the upper hand when it comes to the vastness of content available for streaming, including music videos, albums, singles, remixes, live performances, and covers that can only be found on YouTube.