All you need to know
youtube music is Google’s latest attempt to create a streaming music service, and it’s actually a pretty good alternative to Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. YouTube Music actually debuted in 2015, which means it’s now around seven years old. However, it was missing a lot of features when it launched and then relaunched later in 2018 with many more features and saw the end of Google Play Music.
YouTube is already one of the biggest names in media, so YouTube Music is likely to be one of the biggest streaming services. So here’s everything you need to know about YouTube Music.
What is YouTube Music?
YouTube Music is Google’s second attempt to create a streaming service. In 2011, Google announced Google Play Music and offered streaming music for just $7.99 a month at first. Fast forward to 2015 when Google launched YouTube Music and basically had two different streaming music services. Google Play Music and YouTube Music. Although the writing was on the wall for Google Play Music.
Google then relaunched YouTube Music in 2018 by bundling it with YouTube Premium for $12.99 per month. Although you can still pay for it separately for $9.99/month. However, YouTube’s ad-free addition to the music service means it’s far more valuable than its competitors.
YouTube Music has over 50 million songs in its catalog. Which is one of the biggest streaming music services.
How much does it cost?
YouTube Music ranges from free to $17 per month, depending on the plan you get.
YouTube Music itself is available for free with ads playing every three to six songs, and you don’t get access to many other features of the service. If you choose to pay, it’s $5 per month for students, $10 per month for everyone else, and $15 per month for families (up to 5 users).
It’s about the same price as its competitors, like Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music and others. So it’s not a bad price, but not an incredibly good price either.
Is YouTube Premium included?
You can get YouTube Premium included with Music, but you can’t get Premium without Music. So if you get the full YouTube Premium package, it will cost you $7 per month for student, $12 per month for everyone else, and $17 per month for families.
This is the plan we recommend if you are going to use YouTube Music. As you pay $2 more per month and get ad-free background playback, downloads and YouTube. Considering the amount of ads on YouTube, having YouTube ad-free is definitely worth the extra $2 per month.
YouTube Music Free vs. Premium Tiers
A little like Spotify, YouTube Music offers a free tier and a paid tier of its music service. The free tier of YouTube Music is not quite the same as the one offered by Spotify. For example, you get more than just ads. You also can’t play music in the background, at least on the Android app. The easiest solution is to use the desktop web version, as you can still play it in the background as long as the tab is open.
With the free version, you don’t get any recommendations or the ability to stream new music. So you’re basically limited to playlists that YouTube Music has already created. That might be enough for some, but probably not for everyone.
What are the features of YouTube Music?
YouTube Music doesn’t really have a lot of features that you won’t find elsewhere with other streaming services. But YouTube Music does a really good job of discovery, almost as good as Spotify, to be completely honest.
If you sign up for YouTube Music Premium, you’ll get ad-free listening. Thus, you will not hear any advertising on your music, or between your music. You’ll also get background playback, which you don’t get on the free version.
It’s one of those features you’d expect from a paid music service, though, so it’s no big surprise. But certainly good to see, because we know how much YouTube and Google love ads.
One of the features that Spotify has and uses very well is discovery. Whether it prompts you to add more songs to your playlists, shuffles playlists just for you, or even pops up other songs you might like, it does a pretty good job. YouTube Music has improved tremendously over the years. Discovery is very good and makes it easy to populate a new playlist, with songs you like and have played a bit.
The Supermix or sometimes called “My Mixtape” contains around 100 songs that cover all your musical tastes, and it is continuously updated. When you start using YouTube Music, you will notice that it is updated daily or even more often. But as you start using YouTube Music and use it for a while, it might not change as often because YouTube Music knows what kind of music you like and listen to.
You can also upload your Supermix – in fact, it’s the only playlist I’ve downloaded that I usually use in the car, because I don’t have to worry about picking a specific song. YouTube Music also lets you limit the number of downloaded songs, so it doesn’t take up all of your phone’s storage. Which is super smart.
YouTube Music also has other mixes for you, including different My Mixes and a Discover Mix containing new music to discover. This is a playlist that YouTube Music says has music you’ll love.
Where is YouTube Music available?
As of early 2022, YouTube Music is available in over 95 countries. These include:
- American Samoa
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Cayman Islands
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- French Guiana
- French Polynesia
- hong kong
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- Northern Mariana Islands
- Papua New Guinea
- Porto Rico
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- US Virgin Islands
- United Arab Emirates
- United States
How does it compare to the competition?
If you’re looking to upgrade to YouTube Music from a competitor like Spotify or Apple Music, you might be wondering how it stacks up against the competition, well, it stacks up pretty well. Although Spotify is still the best option for most people, due to the amount of features it has – remember that Spotify is a music streaming company first and doesn’t have a hand in many others. domains like Google and Apple.
One thing that YouTube Music lacks is that podcasts are included in the platform. Spotify includes podcasts, making it a one-stop-shop for all your audio needs. However, there is Google Podcasts, but that would require using another app. Of course, Spotify also offers exclusive podcasts like Joe Rogan and Michelle Obama.
YouTube Music also lacks audio quality, where it peaks at 256 kbps, and Spotify’s library of 70 million songs can hit 320 kbps. Most people won’t notice a difference with this, but if you’re using the right gear, you can see a small difference in audio quality. Although neither is as good as Apple Music’s Spatial Audio. Or Amazon Music’s selection of HD music – which are included in their prices.
YouTube Music has fewer songs than the competition, but still has a ton. Apple Music has 90 million, Spotify has 70 million, and Amazon Music has 75 million. Although at these figures there is not a huge difference.
If you want YouTube without ads, then YouTube Music will be the right choice for you. Unless you’re ok with spending $12 a month for ad-free YouTube and then paying for another music subscription.
Should I sign up for YouTube Music?
If you’re already a big YouTube user, that’s a no-brainer. And while the competitors are pretty good, the fact that you can get YouTube Premium ad-free with YouTube Music makes it a much more valuable subscription than Spotify or Apple Music right now.
You can sign up for YouTube Music by clicking hereand also discover the available features.