YouTube Music is here, and it’s a game changer

12 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Google takes on Apple and Spotify with free YouTube music streaming app (although you’ll have to pay to get rid of the ads).

In a feature it hopes will be a key selling point, YouTube Music will create non-stop stations tailored to users, who can fine-tune how much variety they want.The video platform announced Thursday that it’s finally releasing YouTube Music, an app that will let users stream YouTube’s entire catalog right from their phone.YouTube on Thursday entered the increasingly crowded field of music streaming, hoping to reach a new audience through a user-friendly service that seizes on the video giant’s vast variety.The adroit and android enthusiasm targeted towards those attending press previews of apps, initiatives and announcements always falls just outside that which would make a normal human being feel comfortable.

YouTube, the world’s third most popular website after its parent company Google and Facebook, aims to take advantage of its quirky possibilities by offering artists’ original tracks alongside cover versions, live footage and user-generated content. However, if users want premium features such as offline playback and ad-free streaming, then they’ll have to get a YouTube Red membership— a new subscription program that allows viewers to watch their favorite YouTube content without any ads for $9.99 a month. Jay Fowler, the director of product development who was involved in earlier services Beats Music and MOG, said he hoped to draw more people to streaming instead of simply competing with other companies. Users will not only be able to save music from artists’ official YouTube pages, but they’ll also be able to listen and save “all the remixes, covers, lyric videos and concert footage that YouTube has to offer.” Therefore, cover songs by popular YouTubers such as Boyce Avenue, SamTsui and Lindsey Stirling will all be available.

YouTube Music – which was announced alongside YouTube Red without full details or a launch date – is compatible both with Google’s Android system and Apple and will initially be available only in the United States. ‘Usher discovers Bieber. Universal Music Group, the largest label conglomerate, said Tuesday that for the first time more than half its digital revenue came from streaming in the latest quarter. The center of the app keeps things simple, with three main sections, “Home,” “Music Today” and “Likes.” Home functions much the same as Spotify or Apple Music, with a selection of genre stations and a user’s main, personalized station. But it has faced growing competition from new entrants Apple Music and rap mogul Jay Z’s Tidal, which have both tried to distinguish themselves through original content and video.

Music Today, which Fowler calls “cultural relevance 101,” features a list of the day’s 40 most-popular videos as well stations featuring on-the-rise artists and trending videos or songs. And together, they’ve made YouTube the absolute best place in the world to discover new music. ‘Today, any artist can upload a video to YouTube and get discovered by over 1 billion people around the globe.

Fowler joined YouTube in March, just a few months into the existence of YouTube Music Key, ostensibly a music streaming service that the company would eventually characterize as an information-gathering beta test. That global exposure has allowed YouTube and Google to pay out over $3 billion to the record industry to date. ‘But we want to do even more to support artists and all the fans who turn to YouTube to discover music, so we’re making the experience even better with a brand new YouTube Music app.’ Streaming, which allows unlimited online music on-demand, has been rapidly growing. Even before its entry into streaming, YouTube has been a frequent target of music industry representatives alarmed by users’ ability to post nearly anything online. So they made offline listening into an automatic and constantly updated “mixtape.” (Users are given the option to control the storage used on this feature, as well as the ability to download specific albums, songs or videos.) YouTube has done its best to give casual music fans — the vast majority of fans — an experience that falls right between the one-click utility of Pandora and the depth of Spotify (much less the music-lover-attuned Apple Music), while catering as best it can to those with deeper tastes.

Without that subscription fans lose the (very useful) ability to toggle between video and audio-only, they can’t play music with their screens locked, will be served ads on most video views, and can’t cache music to their phones. YouTube is already, not-so-secretly, the king of the music streaming hill, with 60 percent of people saying they use YouTube to listen to music some or most of the time, according to Edison Research’s “Infinite Dial 2015” report. The majority — 83 percent — of 12-24 year-olds say YouTube is how they keep up-to-date with music. “YouTube as a music channel is as mainstream as all of online audio put together,” the report says.

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