Google launches YouTube Premium in South Africa but there's a catch

YouTube logo (Photo: Pexels)
YouTube logo (Photo: Pexels)

Cape Town – Google has launched YouTube Premium in South Africa with a primary focus on YouTube Music Premium, while premium TV content on YouTube Premium remains inaccessible.

YouTube Red rebranded as YouTube Premium in May 2018, with YouTube Music Premium that offers an ad-free music streaming service providing music videos, albums, singles, remixes, live performances, covers and some hard-to-find music.


YouTube Music has ads and is integrated with Google Play Music. A paid subscription to YouTube Music Premium for R59.99 per month or R89.99 per month for a Family Plan and removes the ads as an ad-free experience and offers downloads. YouTube Premium costs R71.99 per month or R109.99 for the Family Plan. A Family Plan subscription gives up to 6 people the option to share a single subscription. 


YouTube in South Africa doesn't make YouTube Originals TV series and films available to users yet. Only the first two episodes of the science fiction drama series, Origin, is for instance available to watch for free on YouTube that was filmed last year in Cape Town, without the possibility of seeing the rest of the 8-episode series.

Asha Patel, head of marketing at Google South Africa, says YouTube Music offers features that music lovers will really enjoy."A home screen that dynamically adapts to provide recommendations based on what you've played before, where you are and what you're doing. Thousands of playlists across any genre, moor or activity. The hottest new music. And no internet? No problem. Get You Tube Music Premium to listen ad-free, in the background and on-the-go with downloads," she says."With the Smart Search feature on YouTube Music, music lovers can find any song, even if they can't remember what it's called."


Google SA says Smart Search is available in most indigenous South African languages including isiZulu and isiXhosa."Google Play Music subscribers will automatically receive access to YouTube Music Premium at their current price. Nothing is changing with Google Play Music - you'll still be able to access all of your purchased music, uploads and playlists in Google Play Music just like always," says Asha Patel.