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YouTube extends music streaming service to Europe

PARIS: YouTube extended its music streaming service to Europe Monday a month after it launched in North America and parts of Asia.

YouTube Music will offer Europeans millions of songs and videos advertising-free for a subscription of 9.99 euros a month — 11 per cent more expensive than its US version. An existing free version of the standalone service with ads will continue with “a reimagined mobile app and brand new desktop player”, it said.

The Google-owned giant said it would have “thousands of playlists… millions of songs, albums and artist radio” – a tool than allows listeners to build radio lists around a singer or band. The new service is an attempt by the Californian digital empire to combat its fast-growing rivals like Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer.

Google boasts that 1.3 billion internet users already listen to music via YouTube, but it wants a bigger slice of the paid-for music market. The music industry lobby group, the IFPI, said that 176 million people around the world paid to stream music in 2017, the majority on Sweden-based Spotify, which has 75 million paying subscribers.

YouTube has faced criticism from the music industry for abusing its position, with the IFPI saying that it only pays $1 a year per user in royalties to artists while Spotify pays $20.

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.