Google dropped a big surprise for people in the Middle East, especially if you use YouTube for watching video content and listening to music; YouTube Music and YouTube Premium is rolling out to more countries. This announcement took place in the form of an event recently held in Dubai, on the very same day hours before Apple’s keynote.
This announcement is quite significant, given the video consumption habits of the region. Both services have rolled out to UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Lebanon. This brings the rollout to 70 countries in total for YouTube Music.
Premium for YouTube watchers
Formerly known as “YouTube Red”, it’s the ad-free of YouTube that grants you access to exclusive original content made in collaboration with creators. All of the same benefits of YouTube Premium are here for Middle East users:
- Ad-free viewing of YouTube videos
- Background playback even when you exit the YouTube app or your screen is off
- Offline downloads to watch any Originals video whenever you want
- First access to YouTube original programming
- YouTube Music is included, along with its feature set
If you have ever watched classic The Karate Kid movie, they made a sequel to it in the form of a YouTube original show known as Cobra Kai. It’s one of the few standout hits that would make it worthwhile to subscribe to Premium (catch up on Season 1 here).
Music lovers rejoice
Throwing a wrench into the current music streaming battle across the Middle East, YouTube Music’s rollout will add more variety and competition. This will put a twist to an interesting battle with Anghami, Spotify, and Deezer for listeners.
- Rich musical catalogue: From official singles and albums, to covers and remixes, YT users who want to listen to the song, explore the album it’s part of, watch its videos, or discover its remixes.
- Smart Search: A feature to help users find songs with just a few lyrics.
- “Discover Mix”: On the home tab features new music based on past listening habits and user likes.
- Offline smart downloads: For paid members, the Offline Mixtape automatically downloads up to 100 songs on their mobile device.
Many of us use YouTube to listen to music but it’s not very efficient when you’re on a data plan. It eats up your bandwidth, especially if you’re watching the music video and you want audio-only. YouTube Music includes a nifty feature, where you can switch between either one to conserve your data. It’s seamless and you can still keep the music running.
Price and perks
When you compare the prices for both Music and Premium, they are significantly cheaper than in the USA. In addition to a single subscription option, there’s also a family subscription option (up to 5 users in a household) that you can share. Prices will likely vary by country and currencies’ buying power for both packages.
|YouTube Music (single/family)||YouTube Premium (single/family)|
|United Arab Emirates||AED 19.99/ AED 29.99||AED 23.99 / AED 35.99|
|Saudi Arabia||SAR 19.99/ SAR 29.99||SAR 23.99 / SAR 35.99|
|Qatar||QAR 19.99/ QAR 29.99||QAR 23.99/ QAR 35.99|
|Kuwait/Bahrain/Oman/Lebanon||US$ 4.99/ US$ 7.49||US$ 7.99/ US$8.99|
There’s also an extra incentive for Samsung Galaxy users in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Oman; we are talking about 4 months of free, uninterrupted ad-free access to YouTube Premium.