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YouTube set to launch a revamped version of YouTube Music

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Revamped YouTube Music is Google’s latest effort to take on Spotify

YouTube Premium replaces YouTube Red for $2 more — act now to get the old price

YouTube executives confirmed to several publications that the new service will cost $10 a month, in line with competing music-streaming services, and will “eventually” replace Google Play Music. Anyone interested will be able to try out the refreshed service for free before deciding whether to subscribe.



Described by Recode as “functionally the same” as the existing version, YouTube Music will, however, prioritize audio over video, and focus on improved personalized playlists based on a user’s YouTube history.

YouTube Music will be “largely devoid of video,” according to CNET, which has seen the redesigned YouTube Music app in action. It said the app’s home screen lets you scroll through lots of recommended music and playlists, including “individualized selections of new releases, a My Mixtape personalized playlist, collections similar to an artist you’ve been listening to a lot lately, a selection called Throwback Jams, before you get to recommended music videos and professional clips of live performances.”

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Also on Tuesday, May 22, YouTube Red, which offers original and ad-free video programming for a fee, will become YouTube Premium. The new video and music service will only be accessible to new users by adding an extra $2 to the monthly YouTube Music subscription, taking the cost to $12.

YouTube Premium will include YouTube Music with background listening and downloads and more original series and movies. Current YouTube Originals include YouTube Originals the Karate Kid-inspired series Cobra Kai and dance drama Step Up: High Water. Upcoming series include sci-fi thriller Impulse, and Liza Koshy’s Liza on Demand.

Existing YouTube Red members will be able to access YouTube Premium with no price increase. In countries where YouTube Red is currently available, including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and South Korea, you can still sign up for YouTube Red at the current $10 (U.S.) subscription price — just act before May 22.

YouTube plans to continue expansion during 2018. Countries where YouTube Premium will rollout soon include Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

With so many people hitting YouTube for their music fix, Google has always felt well placed to attract people to a subscription-based music service. But up to now, the company has failed to nail it. It kicked off with Google Play Music in 2011, but its performance has been disappointing in comparison to rival services such as Spotify and Apple Music. In 2014, it followed up with Music Key, offering subscribers ad-free music videos, but a lack of interest saw Music Key succeeded by YouTube Red in 2015.

Now Google is hoping the latest changes to its various subscription services will finally start to gain traction among music fans and help it to be a real player in the paid-for music-streaming space.

The revamped YouTube Music service will see a gradual rollout in the U.S. starting on Tuesday, with select overseas markets also targeted.

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Motherland News

Protest leader arrested, charged with inciting violence in Zimbabwe.

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Armed police in Zimbabwe have arrested a political activist at his home on Wednesday, his lawyer said.

It comes as protests against fuel price hikes enters day 3 Wednesday. Evan Mawarire, a Harare pastor, rose to prominence as a critic of former leader, Robert Mugabe.

Beatrice Mtetwa is lawyer for Evan Mawarire.



Businesses and schools remain closed while mobile telecom networks enforce a government internet shut down in this Southern African nation.

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“I cannot say the stay away has been successful but at the end of the day we await to hear what the government will do because the people have spoken, they were not happy and up to now they are still in fear”, said Harare resident, Ronald Gwasira.

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“The way it looks people want to go to work but unfortunately it seems the transport operators are not willing to take them”, said Terrence Gumbi, another resident.

Wednesday is the third and final day of stay-at-home protests called by unions in response to the steep hike in fuel prices.

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Motherland News

Kenya: Uhuru Kenyata promises avenge terror attack in Nirobi.

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Kenyan security forces have neutralised all four terrorists involved in the attack on a hotel complex in the capital Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Wednesday.

Kenyatta said about 700 people had been safely evacuated, vowed to avenge the 14 “innocent” lives lost.



“We are a nation that never forgets those who hurt our children. We will pursue relentlessly those involved in the planning and execution of this attack,” the president said.

‘‘I take note of Kenyans who took to social media to spread hope and criticise false information. You have shown the world bravery, patriotism and love.’‘

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he attack in numbers

  • 14 civilians confirmed dead

  • 700 people safely evacuated

  • 4 attackers neutralised

Victims

An earlier estimate put the death toll at 15.

Timeline of the attack

  • Tuesday 3pm (local time): Attack on dusitD2 hotel begins with two explosions

  • Tuesday 5:55pm: Al Shabaab claims responsibility

  • Tuesday night: AU, EU, UN, United States, Somalia condemn the attack

  • Tuesday night : Police announces it has secured 7 out of eight floors

  • Wednesday 6am: Gunshots ring out as police say at least two groups of people still trapped inside complex

  • Wednesday 8am: President Kenyatta declares terror attack and security operation ‘over’.

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