Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

The Reviews Are In On YouTube Music

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Last month YouTube launched its revamped music streaming platform, called appropriately enough YouTube Music.  Now that the industry has had a few weeks to play with the updated service the reviews are starting to come in.  RAIN is featuring a solid critique in the attached link.

YouTube Music scores well on overall design and user functionality.  The app itself feels like a video version of Pandora, which is generally considered the most elegant and easiest UI in streaming.  YouTube Music’s library is as deep as YouTube itself, so plenty of songs to choose from.  However, there was an expectation that non-traditional user-uploaded content (think videos of live recordings, bootlegs, etc.) would also be played.  But in RAIN’s test listening they were only served studio versions of songs.

One of YouTube Music’s more peculiar quirks is that the next song up won’t automatically play while the app is backrounded unless you’ve paid for a subscription.  That means non-sub users must stay on the screen and watch as the next song plays or not get the song at all.  This is obviously a non-starter for music streaming consumers who are typically listening while doing other things on their phones and computers.  YouTube is probably keeping this limitation in place on purpose to drive listeners behind their paywall.  To me this seems like a sufficiently annoying product feature to come out of the gate with.  We’ll see how long that lasts.

 

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