YouTube Music is a new music streaming service that offers music videos, official albums, singles, remixes, live performances, covers and hard-to-find music that you can only get on YouTube.
Not to be confused with its other content offering, the platform is joining the ranks of Spotify and Deezer with a specialised music streaming service for its millions of users.
While fans can enjoy the new ad-supported version of YouTube Music for free, nothing will change with how they consume the content on the free platform online.
YouTube has also announced YouTube Music Premium, a paid membership that gives you background/offline listening, downloads and an ad-free experience for R59.99 a month or R89.99 per month for a Family Plan.
The streaming service has aligned its pricing with Spotify, Deezer, Joox, Google Play and Apple Music, which all charge R59.99 for a monthly subscription.
What features will YouTube Music have?
According to Google SA Head of Marketing Asha Patel, YouTube has a number of features for users beyond what they already have on the streaming platform.
A Smart Search feature on YouTube Music available in most languages, including indigenous South African languages such as isiZulu and isiXhosa that allows you to find any song, even if you can’t remember what it’s called. Users can search for descriptions, lyrics and even emojis to find the tracks they want to listen to.
If you are a Google Play Music subscriber, you will automatically receive access to YouTube Music Premium at your current price.
Patel says: “Nothing is changing with Google Play Music – you’ll still be able to access all of your purchased music, uploads and playlists in Google Play Music just like always.”
For users, this announcement will boil down to preference and choice. While YouTube serves a large community and offers a variety of music content beyond its competitors in South Africa, its choice to monetise its music offering might put some fans off. Others, however, might enjoy the familiarity of the platform and having a one-stop music shop.
Whether you want to subscribe or not, the rest of YouTube’s offering will not change, for now.
The new YouTube Music app is available to download from the Play Store and App Store, or users can check out the web player at music.youtube.com.
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