YouTube Music, Google’s streaming music offering, is the (sort of) successor to Google Play Music. It’s been around for about two years, but how good is it, and how does it compare to the competition? Let’s examine what YouTube Music offers and whether it’s worth subscribing to.
What is YouTube Music?
YouTube Music is a music and video streaming service available online. It’s Google’s take on Spotify and Apple’s similar services. It is compatible with both desktop and mobile devices. However, it does not directly contain podcasts. You’ll need Google Podcasts for that. You do, however, have access to videos. This includes music videos and recordings of live sessions or alternate versions that you may not be able to find elsewhere.
The music catalog is quite large, and you’ll find plenty of obscure content that you won’t find anywhere else, such as mixtapes, live recordings, one-offs, and more. According to Google, there are currently over 80 million official tracks. This is comparable to Spotify’s claim of 80 million and Amazon Music’s claim of 90 million. The difference is that many of the offerings on YouTube Music are not available anywhere else.
Is YouTube Music free?
If you want to get started, it has a free plan. So it’s free to use if you don’t mind hearing advertisements every few songs, and it’s accessible via a mobile app or web player.
A YouTube Music Premium tier is also available, which removes the advertisements, allows you to listen to music in the background on your mobile device (so you can exit the app and continue listening), and allows you to download songs for offline playback.
How does YouTube Music work?
YouTube, like other music streaming services, prioritizes its discovery features. It claims that the Music service makes music “easier to explore,” It has a large catalog of official songs, remixes, live performances, covers, and music videos.
The home screen constantly changes whether you’re using the app or the web player. It updates to provide recommendations based on your listening habits, but it is also location-aware and can suggest music based on what you’re doing.
It is organized into three tabs: Home, Explore, and Library. Explore allows you to find new music, such as new releases, easily and dive into moods or genres. The Library tab displays playlists, any imported music from Google Play Music, and any music on your mobile device. The music you imported from Google Play is available in both the web and mobile app versions.
Videos are prominent in both the app and the browser, and when you select a song in the app, you can often choose whether to listen to the song or watch the video. You can also switch mid-stream, which is a fantastic feature. When viewing in a browser, the experience is video-based, as is the rest of YouTube.
You can also like or dislike music, which helps Google fine-tune the selection of music that you’re recommended, so if you don’t like Ed Sheeran, give him the thumbs down, and you’ll see less of him.
How much is YouTube Music Premium?
Ad-supported is completely free, but you can choose from a few different Premium subscription plans:
- A single-user plan costs $9.99 / £9.99 / €9.99 per month. An annual plan is also available for $99.99.
- Family: For $14.99 / £14.99 / €14.99 per month, up to six family members (aged 13 and up) can share a single Family account.
- Student: For $4.99 / £4.99 / €4.99 per month, eligible students can sign up for Premium.
If you subscribe to YouTube Premium for $11.99 (£11.99, €11.99) per month, you also get the Premium and all of the same features. Furthermore, your YouTube videos will no longer contain advertisements.
How to play YouTube Music in the background without a subscription
A small bug allows you to use the free version of it on your device without a subscription. It’s essentially the same process we described here for the iPhone to play YouTube in the background.
Here’s how to do it:
- Head to music.youtube.com in your device browser.
- Open the settings and select desktop mode.
- Press play on the music you want to listen to.
- Turn off the display.
- If the music stops, wake to the standby screen on Android and look for media controls, and it plays. On iPhone, swipe to the control center and press play.
- The music should then start playing again.
It’s a bit of a long workaround, and because Android phones handle music in slightly different ways, it may not work on all models, or you may need to locate or enable the playback controls on your lock screen.
What’s the YouTube Music app like to use?
The YouTube Music app is remarkably simple in terms of layout and usability. Its home screen is tailored to your personal artist preferences, which you select during your first visit, and is clearly laid out so you can quickly find recommended playlists and videos.
The main distinguishing feature is that because its tracks are culled from the entire library of content available on YouTube, thousands of performances are unavailable anywhere else. They are also all available in video format.
Within the app, you can adjust the streaming quality to low, normal, high, or always high, and these settings are available for both mobile and Wi-Fi streaming. You can also play lower-quality video on mobile and HD only when connected to Wi-Fi.
There is a restricted mode to reduce explicit-flagged songs, but it is not protected, so the user can always turn it off – and it is dependent on the artist flagging the content as explicit.
Individual tracks, playlists, and albums can also be downloaded for offline listening. This means you can listen without streaming, either to save data or while traveling – and you can limit streaming to Wi-Fi only. Read More; How to get Apple Music on your Amazon Echo
What happened to Google Play Music?
Google began shutting down Play Music in September 2020, retiring the old service and recommending that users switch to the Music instead. This marks the end of Google Music purchases in favor of a streaming service. Google initially provided a method for transferring your previous Play Music purchases to YouTube Music. Still, Google Play Music has been completely shut down, so you can no longer do so.
Read Also; What are Amazon Day One Edition devices
Is YouTube Music free?
YouTube Music offers a free subscription, which is pretty feature-packed, but there are many ads, and you cannot listen to content in the background or switch to other apps on a mobile device.
How much is YouTube Music Premium a month?
You can sign up for YouTube Music Premium for a single-user plan at $9.99 / £9.99 / €9.99 per month. You can also snag an annual plan for $99.99. Up to six family members (aged 13 and above) can all use one Family account for $14.99 / £14.99 / €14.99 per month. Eligible students can sign up for Premium for $4.99 / £4.99 / €4.99 per month.
If you sign up for YouTube Premium at $11.99 / £11.99 / €11.99 per month, you get the Premium, too. Furthermore, YouTube videos you watch won’t have ads, either.
What is the purpose of YouTube Music?
You can listen to the latest hits, stay connected to artists you like, and discover new music on your devices with YouTube Music. YouTube Music is available in two flavors: Our ad-supported YouTube Music is available for free.
Is YouTube Music safe to use?
Music and sound effects from the YouTube Audio Library are copyright-safe.
Is YouTube Music as good as Spotify?
Even so, the decision between Spotify and YouTube Music comes down to what you want from a streaming service. Spotify is a better option if you enjoy podcasts, but YouTube Music excels at surfacing random music.