An old saying suggests that the only inevitabilities are death and taxes. When it comes to Google, there are a couple more that we can add. Google will likely always have an array of often incompatible and overlapping “chat” programs and systems — and their paid video and music offerings will be a maze of twisty passages, all different.
Google hasn’t disappointed in that respect with the manner in which word has gotten out about their latest paid content changes. The one thing that seems clear is that the brand “YouTube Red” is apparently going away. But after that, everything is about as easy to understand as hieroglyphics prior to the discovery of the Rosetta Stone.
YouTube Premium, YouTube Music. YouTube Music Premium. And what of Google Play Music (for free, purchased, and uploaded music) — which Google in their tweets (trying to calm down confused onlookers on Twitter) says is continuing for now?
I tried to figure it all out last night and got a terrible headache that forced me to quit. This morning, it’s all as clear as mud.
There are a couple of things that I’m fairly sure about. At the moment I’m in Google’s “family plan” for $15/month that gives me both YouTube Red and Google Play Music paid services for up to six accounts. I use it mainly for ad-free YouTube viewing and to be able to simultaneously stream different music to different Google Home devices without conflict, from music sources on Play Music and YouTube.
I’ve been led to believe that for existing subscribers of these services under their new names, there are no immediate price changes — though likely that’s coming down the line. It appears that obtaining the same mix of content under Google’s new plans will cost new subscribers more (though they may be able to lock in current prices for a time if they subscribe to the existing plans before the new plans launch reportedly next week).
But how much more will the new services cost going forward? Perhaps the Sphinx could figure it all out. I’ve seen so many different numbers and combinations of services now — not to mention that the future and form of Play Music still seems up in the air — that the only thing seeming certain is uncertainty itself.
I do know that for essentially the same paid mix of video and music content that I receive now from Google, I’d personally probably be willing to pay a wee bit more. But not much more and/or for a more limited set of content. In such latter eventualities, I’d be tempted to drop all of these Google paid content services entirely.
For the moment though, I think that I will sit tight for a bit, and wait for some sort of clarity to hopefully eventually shine its light on this current but predictable Google communications confusion.
Isn’t it nice to have a hobby?