Everything you need to know about YouTube Music

Music videos are making a comeback thanks to YouTube Music.

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What is YouTube Music?

YouTube Music is a music streaming service housed within the larger YouTube video platform. Available both as a mobile app and a web player, YouTube Music differentiates itself from traditional music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music by focusing on music videos instead of raw audio.

YouTube Music curates these music videos from the grander YouTube catalogue, negotiating with record labels, publishers and artists directly to make their content available on the service. However, the app doesn’t feature just music videos. It also offers official albums, singles, remixes, live performances, covers and hard-to-find music you can only get on YouTube.

YouTube Music was first launched alongside YouTube Red in May 2016. YouTube revamped the app and started rolling it out in May 2018, alongside the rebranded YouTube Premium (formerly YouTube Red). YouTube Music comes in two forms: a free, ad-supported version and a premium version. You can get the paid app as a standalone or bundle it with a YouTube Premium subscription.

What features does YouTube Music support?

YouTube Music offers a number of features designed to enhance your music-listening experience. These include the following:

What music is available on YouTube Music?

YouTube Music includes millions of tracks in its catalogue, many of which are official music videos from popular artists like Bruno Mars, Macklemore, Kesha, Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran, or Taylor Swift. There's plenty of music to suit more niche tastes, too, from gospel and meditation music to the latest hits coming out of Bosnia and Lebanon. And thanks to the vast amount of music already on YouTube, new tracks are approved and added to YouTube Music on a regular basis.

What devices are compatible with YouTube Music?

The biggest drawback to YouTube Music is its limited device support. Other than the YouTube Music web player, which supports PCs, Macs and Linux-based computers running the latest version of the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari or Opera web browsers, YouTube Music is only available on mobile devices (smartphones/tablets) through the YouTube Music app.

How much does YouTube Music cost?

YouTube Music is available both as a free service supported by ads and as a premium service. While both give you access to the entire YouTube Music library, their features differ greatly.

Free

The free tier of YouTube Music offsets its attractive price by playing ads before and between songs. The frequency and length of these ads varies according to YouTube's algorithms. Ads aside, YouTube Music's free tier gets you access to all exclusive videos, custom playlists, and recommendations available on the service.

Premium

YouTube Music Premium costs $11.99/month. There’s a three-month free trial so you can test drive the platform to see if it’s right for you. Moreover, there’s also a family plan you can take advantage of. This one is $17.99/month for up to six family members (yourself included). The family plan only offers a one-month trial.

Alternatively, you get YouTube Music Premium free with a YouTube Premium subscription, which costs $14.99/month. This also includes access to YouTube Originals, as well as ad-free, background, and downloads across all of YouTube.

Can I try YouTube Premium for free?

If you're looking to take YouTube Premium for a test drive before you hand over your money, YouTube is currently offering a three-month free trial of the service for anyone who hasn't tried it before. You can register for the trial over at the YouTube Premium website. Be aware, though, that you'll need to provide payment information in order to sign up, and if you don't cancel the trial before the grace period is up, YouTube will automatically charge you for the next month.

Other music streaming trials

Sick of Spotify? Get 30 days of Amazon Music Unlimited for free

Sick of Spotify? Get 30 days of Amazon Music Unlimited for free from Amazon AU

If your music streaming provider can't keep up with your eclectic tastes, try out Amazon Prime Music for 30 days completely free.

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