YouTube Red, the subscription offering of the popular video sharing service, is now available in Australia and New Zealand, along with the separate (but closely related) YouTube Music.
in the US, and ANZ is the first new region to get access to the service. At its most basic, YouTube Red lets you pay to remove all those pesky ads at the start of your video, but there's more to it than that.
It also offers offline viewing and background listening. Offline viewing, as the name suggests, lets you download videos to watch when you're not connected to the Internet. Red will let you pick the quality and will notify you of the size of the video before you start downloading.
Background listening is a bit different and mostly of use when you're accessing Red from a mobile device. It will keep the sounds from a video running, even if you're on another app or have your screen off. While the most immediately obvious application is music, Gautam Anand, YouTube's Asia Pac director of content and operations, suggests that comedy videos and lectures would both benefit from background listening.
YouTube Red subscribers also get access to new original YouTube content from some of the popular creators... which, lets face it, usually means PewDiePie.
At the same time, Aussies now can get their hands on the YouTube Music app. T Jay Fowler, the ex-VP of music service MOG and now the product management director of YouTube Music, describes it as a "long form, lean back, low friction experience", which basically means its easy to find music on.
The search function will only bring up music related results, there are themed playlists available and you can easily swap between watching the video and just having a static image while the music plays if you're.
Similar to other services, YouTube Music will start a "radio station" based on any track you start listening to, playing additional music based on the tunes you've had going. There's a "variety slider" that will adjust how much wiggle room the app has in terms of suggestions.
YouTube Music doesn't replace Google Music and the two actually sit side by side in a manner that Fowler called complementary. This is a little confusing, as a subscription to YouTube Red also gives you a subscription to Google Music. But YouTube Music can be used without a Red subscription: You'll just get ads like any other YouTube experience.
Both are available right now and you can subscribe to YouTube Red for AU$11.99 a month. Until July 6 there's a special offer of AU$9.99 and you get one month free trial.