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YouTube Music and YouTube Premium launch in the Middle East

YouTube Premium
(Image credit: Future)

As previously reported, YouTube officially announced today that YouTube Music, a new music streaming application and YouTube Premium, a paid subscription which provides an ad-free experience on YouTube, are now available in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman and Qatar.

YouTube Music will feature as a separate app, and is designed to offer the best music experience from YouTube’s musical catalogue. The app will feature popular international tracks as well as Middle Eastern artists on YouTube.

Key features of YouTube Music include the ability to search for songs by specifying snippets of lyrics, a ‘Discover Mix’ that curates music based on past listening habits, and offline downloads for listening up to 100 songs offline.

(Image credit: YouTube)

YouTube Premium on the other hand aims to elevate the experience of using the regular YouTube app, and brings a select number of member-only benefits. This includes ad-free viewing, the ability to play audio in the background when the app is closed, offline access to download videos to your smartphone, as well as a bundled subscription to YouTube Music.

“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,” said Tarek Abdalla, Regional Director of Marketing at Google Middle East and North Africa. 

“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” he continued.

Pricing and availability

YouTube Music subscriptions start at 19.99 SAR (19.99 AED, 4.99 USD) and YouTube Premium at 23.99 SAR (23.99 AED, 5.99 USD).  Both services will roll out to all users in the coming weeks, starting September 10. 

Samsung Galaxy users in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Oman can enjoy up to 4 months of free, uninterrupted, ad-free access to YouTube Premium with eligible purchase and activation of a Note10, S10, Tab S6 or Tab S5e. All other Samsung Galaxy mobile devices are eligible to receive a 2 month free trial.