What is YouTube Music and how is it different from Google Play Music and Spotify?

YouTube Music will offer free, ad-supported music streaming on desktop and mobile via an app. Think of it as a YouTube app, but with a focus only on music

Google’s messy music ecosystem is finally getting a semblance of form.

Previously, if you wanted to listen to music using Google services, you had three options. You could subscribe to Google Music and benefit from Google’s music library, you could subscribe to YouTube Red and enjoy an ad-free YouTube experience that also allowed background playback of videos, or you could simply take the free option and enjoy music via the YouTube app.

What is YouTube Music and how is it different from Google Play Music and Spotify?

YouTube Music is coming soon, but not to India

The problem, of course, arises when you start paying for the services. Why pay $9.99 for Google Play Music when you could pay the same for YouTube Red and enjoy ad-free YouTube as well as a Music streaming experience? Of course, you’re sacrificing the focus of a dedicated music service when you subscribe to Red, but it’s a question of cost.

With Google now converting Google Play Music into YouTube Music and introducing a YouTube Premium plan, that choice just got a whole lot easier.

YouTube Music: Free

YouTube Music will offer free, ad-supported music streaming on desktop and mobile via an app. Think of it as a YouTube app, but with a focus only on music. There will be a music home screen that dynamically changes based on your interests and what’s trending.

The limitations of the current YouTube app apply. You cannot listen to music in the background and you cannot download music to your device.

An AI search feature will let you search for songs using descriptions and lyrics, which should make for a very interesting experience.

The best part, of course, is that unlike Apple Music, Spotify and other such services, YouTube Music will highlight works from everyone, including covers, remixes and lives, from the freshest of voices to the most established of singers. As a platform for discovery, it might yet be unmatched.

All of this will be curated on your home screen.

YouTube Music Premium: $9.99

A YouTube Music Premium subscription will cost you $9.99 a month. This is on par with services offered by Apple Music, Spotify, etc.

Paying the monthly fee entitle you to an ad-free music experience and lets you listen to music in the background as well as download tracks to your device.

If you’ve used YouTube Red, that’s exactly what YouTube Music Premium is.

YouTube Premium: $11.99

YouTube Premium costs an additional $1.99 over YouTube Music Premium. For that extra $1.99, you get the benefits of YouTube Music Premium plus an ad-free YouTube experience and access to all YouTube originals, like Cobra Kai.

Who can use it?

Unfortunately, as with YouTube Red, YouTube Music isn’t yet available in India and may not be available for a long time. Users in Europe, America, Australia and several other countries will be able to access the service from next week.

YouTube Red and Google Play Music subscribers will in select countries will continue to enjoy Music and ad-free services at their current subscription rates.

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