YouTube Music is a relatively new music streaming service from YouTube that only focuses on all things music across the video streaming platform. With YouTube Music, you can listen to official songs, albums, playlists, artist radios, remixes and live versions of songs.
It is a free-to-use service if you don’t mind listening to adverts every few songs, available through a mobile app or web player. A YouTube Music Premium tier is also available to remove the adverts, give you background listening (so you can exit the app and continue listening) and to let you download songs for offline playback.
What you can’t do with YouTube Music, is watch ad-free videos, such at cats playing the piano, across the rest of the YouTube site. If it’s uninterrupted video viewing you want, you will need a YouTube Premium subscription.
How does YouTube Music work?
Like other music streaming services, YouTube puts a lot of attention on its discovery features. It says music is “easier to explore” with the Music service and has an extensive catalogue not only of official songs, but of remixes, live performances, covers and music videos to throw in too.
The home screen, whether you’re using the app or the web player, is always changing. It updates to provide recommendations based on your listening habits, but is also location aware and can offer some music choices to match what you might be doing. For example, it can detect when you’re at the gym, and so it will serve up some workout playlists to help keep you moving.
How much does YouTube Music cost?
YouTube Music is available as a free ad-supported tier, much like Spotify. Alternatively, you can lose the adverts and gain offline listening with a YouTube Music Premium subscription for £9.99 ($9.99) a month. There is also a family plan for access for more than one family member for £14.99 a month. If you are a new user, you can get the first three months for free.
How is YouTube Music different to Google Play Music?
Even with YouTube Music, Google Play Music is still available. YouTube Music isn’t out to replace it. Instead, the two services will complement each other. If you already subscribe to Google Play Music, then you automatically get YouTube Music Premium as part of your package, and the price you pay will remain the same.
This means you will also still have access to any songs you’ve purchased and any you’ve stored in the cloud for listening on other devices.
YouTube has introduced YouTube Music to the UK – but is it the best streaming music service? Or does that crown still belong to Spotify or the newer Apple Music or Amazon Music Unlimited?
What’s the YouTube Music app like to use?
The YouTube Music app is remarkably simple in layout and ease of use. Its home screen is tailored towards your personal artist choices – which you select during your first visit – and is clearly laid out so you can find recommended playlists and videos instantly.
The main unique feature is that because its tracks are gleaned from the entire gamut of content available on YouTube, there are thousands of performances you cannot get anywhere else. And they are all available to view as video too.
YouTube Music is adaptive, which means it can change depending on your internet connection and offers a maximum of 128kbps without an option to change to a higher quality. You will hear the difference between it and Spotify’s highest setting, for example.