What Is YouTube Music?

So you’ve heard of Youtube music, but what is it exactly? Is Youtube music different from Youtube? And is it better than Spotify? We answer all of these and more below.

What Is YouTube Music? At A Glance

What Is YouTube Music At A Glance

YouTube Music is the online music streaming platform offered by the video mogul. YouTube is a subsidiary of Google, so people who frequently use Google and/or YouTube will have an easier time acclimating themselves to the platform.

Users will experience the platform slightly differently, depending on their music preferences. Upon the first visit to the website, users must select a minimum of five of their favorite musical artists. Once users log into their Google account, YouTube will already recognize their typical music trends.

After the artist selection is complete, users will be at their homepage. Here, listeners can easily navigate YouTube Music’s array of features.

Notable Features of YouTube Music

Notable Features of YouTube Music

YouTube Music offers its listeners several features that set it apart from the competition. Here are the ones their users enjoy the most.

Curated Playlists

Upon their first arrival on the homepage of YouTube Music, listeners will notice that the streaming service has already created several mixes for them. These mixes aren’t there by accident.

These mixes are curated playlists that YouTube generated based on their selected musical interests. Listeners can expect to see the artists they already indicated as interesting and related artists they may find appealing.

As listeners use YouTube Music, the streaming service notices the songs and artists most listened to and searched. The platform will work proactively to present music it thinks a particular user will enjoy most. It also pays attention to the music the listener “likes” and “dislikes” (by clicking the thumbs up or down buttons).

Over time, the experience becomes what the listener truly enjoys most.

Exposure to New Artists

YouTube has always been a hub for artists just getting their start. The video giant is a fantastic method for artists to market and effectively share their music. For this reason, listeners may enjoy the music they discover while searching through curated playlists or suggestions offered by YouTube.

Original Song Mixes

DJs and other various users of YouTube frequently post mashups or unique mixes of beloved songs on YouTube. While many listeners agree that these mixes far surpass the enjoyment of original songs, they are not available for download or streaming on any other platform.

YouTube Music bridges that gap by including these mixes and mashups in their playlists. Users can also search for these songs individually.

Artist Pages

Any dedicated fan will probably already know all the details about their favorite musicians, but YouTube Music offers artist pages for all musicians. Listeners can learn about and discover music from unfamiliar artists and musicians.

Artist pages feature all music performed by that particular musician and provide recommended related musicians listeners can discover. All albums and singles that YouTube owns rights to are listed on this page.


As listeners use and enjoy the YouTube Music platform, they can make collections of their favorite songs, playlists, videos, artists, etc., in their library.

The library feature organizes users’ music into an easy-to-navigate interface where they can find all their playlists, song likes, and more.

Does YouTube Music Cost Money to Use?

Does YouTube Music Cost Money to Use

The quick answer to this is YouTube Music does not cost any money. People can create an account and use the service for free.

However, there is more to it than that. Listeners can use YouTube music for free. This experience features ads that may be frustrating for some listeners. Waiting for ads to pass in the middle of a party playlist isn’t ideal.

There is an alternative option to YouTube Music that requires a fee but provides an upgraded experience.

YouTube Music Premium

YouTube Music Premium

For a monthly fee of $9.99, listeners can experience YouTube Music Premium. This upgrade provides listeners with all the same features they know and love about YouTube Music, with a few added perks.

Ad-Free Experience

By subscribing to Premium, listeners no longer have to wait for an ad to finish before they can listen to their song of choice. This feature also eliminates any pop-up ad surprises in the middle of their playlists.

Offline Listening

One downside to YouTube, as many users have experienced, is the inability to access favorite videos without an internet connection.

By upgrading to Premium, listeners can download their favorite songs in advance and have playlists at the ready for airplane trips, workouts, or any other time in which cell or internet service may be unavailable.

Background Play

The premium subscription also solves the problem of navigating away from the app or website during use.

Typically, if a user closes the YouTube app or website, the video they’re watching stops playing. Users must reopen the app or website to continue. This experience also occurs when a listener turns off their phone screen while using the mobile version. Losing music playback is not an issue for premium users.

Listeners may continue to hear their favorites play even if they are not actively on the YouTube screen. Background play is a coveted YouTube Premium feature for this reason alone.

Free Trial of YouTube Music Premium

Free Trial of YouTube Music Premium

Listeners who wish to test out the YouTube Music Premium subscription before committing to monthly payments can take advantage of the free trial.

YouTube offers users a 7-day period in which they may test out the features of Premium for free. If a user does not cancel their free trial by the end of the week, YouTube will charge the user their initial monthly payment.

YouTube allows users to cancel anytime, with no hidden or surprise fees. Users may also elect to pay annually rather than monthly.

Family Plan

Listeners can add up to five family members to their subscription for the discounted price of $14.99 per month. This plan offers a one-month free trial to test the features and allow users to determine if this is the best fit.

Student Plan

YouTube understands that students in college may not have the means to pay for yet another costly subscription. After proper verification of student status, listeners can enjoy YouTube Music Premium services for only $4.99 per month.

YouTube will verify student status annually for the user to continue to qualify for this plan.

Main Competitors of YouTube Music

Main Competitors of YouTube Music

No good business is without its fair share of competition. Music streaming services are a major market. Listeners want to know that they have chosen the best service for their interests.

Here are the streaming services offering the most competition to YouTube Music.

Is Youtube Music Better Than Spotify?

Spotify launched in 2008 as a desktop streaming service. Since then, the app has grown tremendously into a fan and artist favorite. Users can easily browse through their vast music catalog, creating playlists, finding music that may interest them, and sharing with those they love.

Many of their features are similar to, if not the same, as features of YouTube Music. Curated playlists, finding new music interests, creating a library, and premium subscriptions are all offered. There are also several subscription plans for various types of users.

Spotify vs. YouTube Music

So, which should you pick?

As previously mentioned, YouTube Music features countless original mixes of songs or artists that do not post music on any other platform.

Spotify offers a platform recognized on all mobile devices and is also more widely known. This brand recognition may provide comfort to new users.

Apple Music

Given that YouTube is a subsidiary of Google which is the lifeblood of Android devices, Apple Music is probably YouTube Music’s most intense competitor.

Apple Music was launched in 2015, though Apple had provided access to music for over a decade by that point. Apple Music is the streaming sister of iTunes, which is where Apple customers go to purchase and download their favorite picks.

Listeners can browse seemingly endless music, podcast, and audiobook options at the click of a finger. iPhone users are in luck, given that the feature has already been included on their phones upon purchase.

Apple Music vs. YouTube Music, Which Is Better?

The question presents itself again. Which one should you pick?

Apple Music does feature a longer trial period, offering new subscribers a month for free before fees begin. Apple Music also features family plans and other discounts for subscribers.

Unfortunately, Apple has a reputation for not playing nice with competition, particularly Spotify. Many users may not care, but it is worth noting. Apple also is already set up for success and user-friendly across the board with iPhone accessibility. This ease of access may be a big draw for some listeners.

Pandora Music

Initially created as online radio, Pandora Music has evolved over the years to stay competitive in the music market.

Pandora does not offer many things different from any of the previously mentioned competitors. Aside from the station-forward format of their product. While music and podcast streaming are the main features, the company continues to feature its radio station format.

Pandora Music vs. YouTube Music, The Difference

While Pandora Music offers a Military discount that the prior competitors do not, there’s not much extra that stands out with Pandora.

One downside that users of Pandora Music may find frustrating is they must pay the full subscription price to make playlists. Another drawback for some is the requirement for users who pay for their “plus” subscription to watch an ad before searching for specific music.

What Is YouTube Music? Final Thoughts

Based on the options the music streaming industry offers, listeners must decide which platform is the best choice for them. Each streaming service has its pros and cons.

YouTube Music does stand up well against the competition. It has a user-friendly app that even the most technologically illiterate will find simple to navigate. The service offers an impressive catalog of music, just as competitors do. It also features music and videos exclusive to YouTube, which is the winning ticket for some listeners.

Despite lacking in the area of speaking the language of Apple, YouTube Music is an impressive competitor in the music streaming game. With an array of benefits and exclusive features, YouTube Music will continue to be a staple in the world of streaming music for years to come.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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