YouTube Music rests in this gray area between being a good streaming service and a bad one. The transition from Google Play Music was rather clumsy, but the company is making strides to improve the overall experience. In a recent blog post, YouTube outlined the features for the free tier subscription (and the ones that are going away).
Users will be getting background playback for free
Folks have been complaining about not being able to listen to music in the background, even though they could with Google Play Music. Well, after much time has passed, the company is going to be rolling out background playback. Starting November 3, users in Canada will be getting the feature with a more general roll-out to be announced.
Other than that, the features you get in the YouTube Music free tier will remain pretty much the same. You’ll still be able to navigate and shuffle music from different stations and playlists.
But, the YouTube Music free tier will lose some features
If you thought this was the end of the story, you’re mistaken. While you’ll be getting background playback, you’ll be losing some features (one of them being pretty big.)
Starting off, you won’t be able to watch videos from the app. One of the main draws to YouTube music is having access to the massive reservoir of music-centric YouTube videos. It was a main advertising point for the platform when it debuted. Now, only premium members will be able to watch videos from the service.
What’s perhaps a major feature that the free tier is losing is the on-demand music listening function. This is the ability to select whichever song you want to listen to. With this change, you will only be able to listen to stations that are pre-made.
This will be a huge blow to people who use the free tier features with YouTube Music. They’re going to go from having the freedom to pick their music to hoping their favorite songs come on. Most people will wonder why on Earth YouTube is doing this. Users mostly just requested background playback, and that’s all.
YouTube will hold an AMA where users can ask the company anything about YouTube Music
There will be a lot of angry users, but YouTube will give them the ability to voice their opinions, as it’s going to be hosting an AMA on October 21st. This is where the company will open the floor to people to ask the company anything they want about the platform.
The AMA will happen in the Google Help forum, so if you’re interested in what YouTube has in store for the streaming platform, you’ll be able to ask questions.