After Napster, everyone understood that the Internet was poised to kill the music industry. But the industry itself adapted to the changing climate as tech giants like Apple and Amazon became major players in the worldwide music distribution change. To match the quality of Apple Music and Amazon’s Prime Music, Google has now jumped into the fray with its recently launched
As a result, things are hotting up in the music streaming segment globally.
On 22 May, YouTube Music was rolled out in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea. According to the Google, the service will soon be launched in Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. There’s yet no official confirmation on the app’s India release.
In addition to all the music videos trending online, YouTube Music will feature thousands of playlists, as well as authentic versions of millions of songs plus albums, by artistes and bands new and old. Like the original YouTube app, the music service will be available for both smartphones and desktops.
YouTube Music also provides a platform for budding musicians who’d be able showcase their work for a worldwide audience.
The service is as user-friendly as the original YouTube app. With the smart search option, which is also available on regular YouTube, users can find any song of their choice by simply looking up the lyrics, instead of song titles and search tags.
In many respects, Google’s YouTube Music is similar to the popular apps by Apple and Amazon. For instance, the personalised home screen of the user, featuring song recommendations based on your listening history or according to your location, is a common link. But Google is more specific with its song recommendations. If you are working out in a gym, say, a workout playlist will be generated for you; if you are on a road trip, a road-trip special will appear.
The app layout of YouTube Music seems basic to begin with. On the user interface, the three modules are Home, Hotlist and Library, showing song recommendations, trending lists and saved collection respectively.
According to the American magazine The Verge, the only disadvantage of the library feature is that you cannot search through your saved playlists.
While you can enjoy YouTube Music free of cost, Google is also coming up with a YouTube Music Premium variant, a subscription-based service that allows downloads and offers ad-free playback. Another drawback is that non-subscribers can’t play the app in the background, as is the case with watching YouTube videos on phones.
“To extend the features of YouTube Music Premium beyond the music app, we’re soon introducing YouTube Premium, the new name for our YouTube Red subscription service. YouTube Premium includes ad-free, background and offline across all of YouTube. YouTube Premium will continue to provide an ad-free experience, background play, and downloads across the millions of videos on YouTube,” says Elias Roman, Product Manager, YouTube Music.
A feature called “Mixtape” is also among the highlights of YouTube Music. It is a daily playlist curated specially for individual users depending on the songs they have been listening to.
One thing is certain, whenever YouTube Music is launched in India, it will disrupt the online-streaming segment here, and will send its many competitors scrambling for upgrades.