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YouTube unveils paid premium packages for local market

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Video-streaming platform YouTube plans to launch its premium and music products in the Kenyan market as it seeks to expand its offering of enriched entertainment experiences in emerging markets.

In the plan, YouTube Premium subscribers will access ad-free viewing, play videos in the background and download videos for offline viewing at a monthly cost of Sh499 for an individual package and Sh949 for a family scheme.

Premium subscribers will also automatically receive YouTube Music and listen to music offline and without advertisement on a standalone app.

Users who subscribe to YouTube Music alone will be required to part with a monthly fee of Sh419 for individuals and Sh669 for a family bundle to access personalised recommendations of hard-to-find music and

“Music is a powerful force that can unite people beyond their geographical and language barriers. It brings joy and elevates the psyche.

“We’re excited to bring YouTube Music to Kenya as this reinforces our commitment to provide individuals access to the music they love while exploring other interesting music preferences,” said Addy Awofisayo, YouTube’s head of music for sub-Saharan Africa.

The platform said in a statement that subscribers would also experience other exclusive features such as the ‘Smart Search’ function that helps users discover songs even with partial lyrics, an ‘Activity Bar’ for quick navigation to playlists and personalised mixes and an ‘Explore Tab’ showcasing the new and popular music.

“Additionally, the ‘Related Tab’ offers a curated music experience based on the current listening choice, while Song Lyrics provide an interactive element synchronised with the music,” reads the statement in part.

The launch in Kenya happened parallel to the induction of similar services in Ghana and Senegal, with YouTube saying the expansion is a build upon its commitment to innovation and the exploration of culture.

The platform’s initiative is poised to accelerate competition with existing rivals in the local market that include Mdundo, Spotify, Boomplay, Apple Music and SoundCloud among others.

It is however not clear whether content creators will reap any additional benefits from YouTube’s newly introduced payment plans.

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