YouTube Music is available in France since June 18, 2018. The new service replaces Google Play Music with a huge catalogue that has to stand up to Spotify and Apple Music With a few original features such as the ability to switch from audio to video instantly, an ultra-efficient Search Engine that includes song lyrics, among other things, and an army of algorithms with recommendations that stick as closely as possible to what you like to listen to at any time of day.
Google finally decides to compete more aggressively with Spotify and Apple Music with its new YouTube Music offering. The firm can count on a vast catalogue, undoubtedly one of the largest on the Internet: the billions of videos on the platform. But also on its expertise in artificial intelligence and search algorithms.
YouTube Music is taking on Spotify, a streaming platform that now has a 40% share of the pay-per-view market. Spotify has managed to come up with an attractively priced streaming offer earlier than others, backed up by an extensive catalogue and with surprisingly powerful algorithms to recommend new tracks and artists to you. A domain in Google can also excel.
At first glance, the two services are similar: Freemium model, the free version being full of drawbacks and forcing the user to listen to advertisements. YouTube Music doesn’t allow you to listen to music when the screen is off – something that Spotify allows. That’s a shame, because it means that YouTube Music will drain your battery faster in the free version.
On the other hand, YouTube Music clearly scores points against its competitor: in addition to agreements with record companies, YouTube Music offers a vast catalog of music from videos, a lot of rare versions, bootlegs, covers … difficult to make more complete. And as you’ll see, it also offers some pretty innovative features.
YouTube Music can set itself apart from Spotify and other competitors with its unique features. For example, it is the only streaming service on the market that allows you to switch from conventional listening to video in one click and without interruption. Google also has undisputed expertise in terms of machine learning, which is reflected in the streaming platform. In addition to the classic analysis of users’ tastes in order to offer them “discovery” playlists, or introduce them to artists they are likely to like, YouTube Music understands the context, i.e. what is going on in its users’ day.
For example, YouTube Music takes your location and weather conditions into account, and will not play the same songs when you’re at work, jogging, or on public transport. The other feature where Google’s expertise is perhaps best illustrated is the YouTube Music Search Engine For example, you can search for a song by its name, artist, but also the lyrics of the song or the movie that is related. Type anything related in the search field, and you should find what you are looking for. This is a good point compared to Spotify, which may give no result when the request is badly formulated.
Yet YouTube Music also has some shortcomings compared to its competitors. audio quality remains average, although the firm promises that higher quality formats will soon be available. There is also no fading between songs, or uninterrupted playback. There are also some things that some people might find absurd: you can search for a song by its lyrics, but you can’t see the lyrics of a song when you play it. Finally, there is no integration with Android Auto, Amazon Echo speakers, or, perhaps less surprisingly, the HomePod. Some users report that the integration of the application with the Google Chromecast still leaves something to be desired.
Youtube Music is available from €9.99 per month. The subscription includes :
- Commercial-free music playback
- Play music with screen off / in the background on Android and iOS application
- Track downloads
A slightly more expensive offer at €11.99 per month, YouTube Premium gives as a bonus access to classic YouTube :
- Playback of commercial-free videos
- Playback of screen video off / in the background
- Video downloads
- Access to YouTube Originals content
It is also possible to test YouTube Music and Premium free of charge for three months. Be careful if you decide to subscribe on iPhone: because of the revenue-sharing model on the App Store the subscription will cost you more if you subscribe via the official Apple App Store
YouTube Music replaces Google Play Music
Youtube Music is Google’s third attempt to create a streaming platform that rivals the market leaders Spotify and Apple Music. And it’s almost a crowning achievement, given YouTube’s vast portfolio of music for so long. However, so far, none of the formulas proposed by Google have taken. Google is banking, among other things, on the ease of use of the service on GOOGLE HOME while not yet offering the Google Home Max, a real loudspeaker for listening to music, on all markets (especially in France).
So the horizon is open for the service, but we can’t immediately see what might be driving Spotify or Apple Music subscribers to subscribe to YouTube Music. In this matter, Google may have a secret boot: YouTube Music is available as part of a subscription only, or with YouTube Premium, the new, slightly more expensive offer that allows you to enjoy YouTube without ads and gives access to exclusive content. YouTube Music will eventually completely replace Google Play Music. Those who would have subscribed to the latter service will then automatically switch to the new offer.
Have you tried YouTube Music? Share your feedback in the comments!