Engadget has it right. I have no idea what Google audio/video service I should ever consider subscribing to, and because music is tied in there, they don’t offer what I want (ad-free YouTube) at price that is reasonable to me. Maybe it doesn’t matter, because Google will just fold it and create an alternative service, with a different name, price, and product mix, in a couple years anyway.
As much as I rely on Google Search, and as much as I use, indifferently, Gmail, I just don’t understand Google as a company. Their central strategy appears to be “no strategy”. They try stuff out, kill it if it fails, and iterate on what succeeds. This process is fun to watch when the company is a young startup, but is a bit much to bear when they are one of the four pillars of the internet.
If my kids didn’t love YouTube, but hate the ads, I wouldn’t think about subscribing to YouTube Premium (or is it YouTube Red? or is it YouTube Music?) at all. If Google cared about customers like me—very light YouTube viewers who would pay a small amount of money to not be interrupted by ads—I would send them some money each month.