by Graham Pierrepoint
YouTube has grown to be more than just the premier platform for video-sharing on the web – it’s often used by its millions of users to listen to the latest music releases, as well as historical chart offerings – meaning that it’s long since been an entertainment staple for web users from all angles. The platform’s premium service, YouTube Red, has offered a music service alongside exclusive content for its users – and in the coming days, it appears that this service will be re-imagined in an effort to appeal to users more concerned with listening as opposed to watching.
YouTube Music is a newly-launched app for both mobiles and desktops, meaning that users are now able to listen to their favorite artists and albums in a standalone program. They are required to listen to commercials should they wish to use the service for free, though in a similar model to Spotify’s popular premium brand, you can go for the full, non-ad experience for $9.99 a month. The new app is initially only available in Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, South Korea and the United States, though a wider roll-out is expected for the weeks and months to come.
▶ YouTube launches music service
YouTube Red has been part of the online entertainment scene since late 2014, but since then, it’s clear that Google – its parent company – intends to make a few changes to the way that certain content and streaming is consumed. YouTube Red will therefore be split into separate components, with the music contingency being of particular interest to potential new adopters. The news will be appealing to those who use YouTube regularly to listen to music as well as to watch videos – and with millions of regular users, it is perhaps a shrewd move to try and manoeuvre the platform with a similar financial model and demand up against the likes of Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora, who are arguably the leading sources of music streaming in the US and beyond.
If you are already using YouTube to listen to music, it is not yet especially clear what will happen to existing videos – but it’s safe to say that the new app may win over those who want to be able to listen to music already hosted on the platform more freely and easily than ever before.