Continuing its expansion across the globe, YouTube's paid Premium membership is making its way to my neck of the woods. The service is now available in eight new countries in the Middle East, most of which are in the GCC area. If you live around here, you probably didn't expect Premium to come to us this "soon" after its international launch, so the news is a nice late-night surprise.

I know you're here for the list of newly-added countries, so without further ado, here they are:

  • Bahrain
  • Israel
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates

With these fast additions, YouTube Music has now reached over 70 countries, surpassing Play Music's availability even though the latter was launched eight years earlier. That bodes well for a more global expansion of YouTube Music.

If you're considering the subscription, you should know that the benefits of YouTube Premium are many: you get ad-free videos, background playback even when you leave the app or turn off your phone's display, offline downloads (you may have already had that though), access to YouTube originals, as well as Music Premium with unlimited ad-free streaming on the YouTube Music app.

In Lebanon, the smaller Music Premium subscription is $5/month for one member or $7.5 for a family. The all-encompassing YouTube Premium subscription is $6 or $9/month for one person or a family, respectively. Prices will likely vary by country and currencies' buying power.