One of the advantages of YouTube Music over other music streaming apps is that you can switch between audio only and video if it is available for the song you are listening to. However, it looks like this will soon become a benefit for Premium subscribers only, as Google brings a “new listening experience” to the YouTube Music app. There will be some changes for the sake of free users as background play will soon be available to them from Canada, but apparently something had to give way.
The main YouTube app is of course always the place to go when you want to watch videos and it will most likely remain free forever. But you won’t be able to switch to videos anymore when you’re on the YouTube Music app, at least if you’re a free user. Watching videos on the music app will soon be one of the exclusive benefits of a paid YouTube Music subscription. Other paid perks include on-demand song listening, unlimited skipping, and of course ad-free listening.
The good news is that background playback will soon be available for non-paid users. This means that you can do other things on your phone or lock your screen and the music won’t stop. This is of course something that other music streaming services are already offering, but YouTube Music is catching up. The free tier will of course contain ads and you will only be able to play personalized mixes, playlists and radio stations. Free users can also listen to the songs they have downloaded to the app, on demand.
Youtube music will be hosting an Ask Me Anything (AMA) forum session with Product Manager Jason Robinson to answer anything related to the new listening experience they will soon begin to roll out. Users can already submit questions and comments in the thread, as long as it’s related to the topic of course. There are already some clarifications and some slightly violent reactions for you to add your own.
The changes will be arriving in Canada for the first time on November 3, 2021. They have not made any announcements regarding global expansion plans yet, so expect them to be requested and hopefully answered. during the AMA.