YouTube Is Taking on Spotify by Launching Its Own Music Streaming Service—Here’s How It Works

YouTube is launching its own music streaming service on May 22—simply titled YouTube Music—that will attempt to make money from its vast library of tunes and music videos.

The Google-owned platform, which is typically a video service, is already a heavyweight in the technology industry, boasting one billion users. Its competition will include the already established Spotify (with 170 million users and 75 million paying subscribers) and Apple Music (with over 50 million users).

Like most rival services, which would also include the likes of Tidal and Amazon Unlimited, YouTube Music will cost $9.99 per month for an ad-free experience that lets users download tracks. The company said in a release this week that an ad-supported version of YouTube Music will be available for free. Subscribers to Google Play Music will be given a YouTube Music Premium membership.

YouTube Music makes sense. While YouTube is host to a plethora of streamers, content creators and vloggers, its music videos can rack up millions of views. Childish Gambino’s “This Is America,” the work of actor/rapper Donald Glover, for example, has brought millions of people to the platform. Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” recently hit the headlines after becoming one of the most watched YouTube videos ever. For many internet browsers, YouTube is a go-to destination. It seems Google is ready to monetize.

“The days of jumping back and forth between multiple music apps and YouTube are over,” wrote Elias Roman, product manager of YouTube Music, in the blog post published on Wednesday.

“YouTube Music is a new music streaming service made for music: official songs, albums, thousands of playlists and artist radio plus YouTube’s tremendous catalog of remixes, live performances, covers and music videos that you can’t find anywhere else—all simply organized and personalized,” Roman continued, adding: “For the first time, all the ways music moves you can be found in one place.”

YouTube Music Like rival services, which would also include the likes of Tidal and Amazon Unlimited, YouTube Music will cost $9.99 per month for an ad-free experience. YouTube Blog

Like Spotify and Apple Music, it will offer users a mobile application and desktop player specifically designed around playlists, artists’ videos and radio. The service, like YouTube’s main player, will have built-in recommendations and personalization options like the “related” section on the main website. The genre of music can also be tailored to location automatically, whether it’s an airport or a gym.

From May 22, YouTube Music will roll out to users in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea. Other regions—including the U.K., France and Germany—will launch in the coming weeks. In a separate update, the website announced that its paid YouTube Red service, which offers ad-free original content, will now be known as YouTube Premium and will cost new members $11.99.

YouTube A 3D-printed YouTube icon is seen on a YouTube logo, on October 25, 2017. Like Spotify and Apple Music, YouTube Music will offer users a mobile application and desktop player specifically designed around playlists, artists’ videos and radio. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Ilustration

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