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YouTube Making Moves As New Music Streaming Service, Launches Today

YouTube’s new streaming service aims to out-do Spotify, Apple Music and others. The new YouTube Music app will be available as an ad-supported or paid extension of YouTube. The paid-version of YouTube, YouTube Red, is changing its name to “YouTube Premium” and will include a subscription to the new YouTube Music.

Never intended as a music platform, YouTube has been popular with music fans since the get-go. According to the 2017 Music Consumer Insight Report, over half of all online music consumption is done via video streaming, with YouTube holding a 46% market share — and it makes sense considering that many live versions, edits, covers, and interpretations of songs can be found nowhere else. This report found that 76% of YouTube audio streamers are listening to music they already know and that 90% of paid audio streamers use smartphones.

To appeal to users, this new streaming service is taking a “deeply personalized” approach and offering features that appeal to end users and artists alike. As a part of the Google family, it will integrate with Google Home and offer intuitive features such as home screen listening recommendations based on time of day, location, and listening patterns. Additionally, any listening history one has will transfer over and an offline player is available for enjoying your favorite tunes while on the go.

Just like Spotify, artists are able to use built-in tools to reach bigger audiences and study fan demographics/play counts. In this day and age, where artists can push their music without big record label backing, these tools help give producers “ammo” for getting radio play and more. Google has not commented on any capabilities for electronic music artists, but we think it would be cool to see support for track-lists on DJ mixes or playlists full of different remixes.

Releasing on May 22nd, YouTube Music might be a game changer but it is not Google’s first attempt as a music streaming service. Only time will tell if this becomes the leading service, and with so much competition in this arena, one must wonder how YouTube will compete. Existing YouTube Red subscriptions will be grandfathered in to the new YouTube Premium, though, and new subscribers will be responsible for a $12/month service fee.