YouTube has tried its hand at a music streaming service a couple of times already, but they failed to make a real impact against the clout of Spotify and Apple Music. Now though, YouTube is back with YouTube Music, which on paper at least appears to be a much more thought out offering that could have the potential to dethrone the Kings.
So what exactly is YouTube Music, how does it differ to Google Play Music and YouTube Premium, and how can you get it? Allow us to explain.
What is YouTube Music?
YouTube Music is a brand 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 do I get YouTube Music?
YouTube Music will begin rolling out to the US, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand and Mexico from Tuesday 22 May 2018. It will then arrive in Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom in the following weeks.
YouTube Music will be available as a free ad-supported tier, much like Spotify, or you can lose the adverts and gain offline listening with a YouTube Music Premium subscription for $9.99 a month.
How is YouTube Music different to Google Play Music?
When YouTube Music launches, Google Play Music will still be 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 will 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.