YouTube has finally joined the world of standalone music streaming. Google launched YouTube Music last Thursday, providing a new way to discover music and videos. The app is the music complement to its new membership service, YouTube Red.
At first glance, YouTube Music seems streamlined and easy to navigate, but you need a Google account to sign in. Just like its video streaming counterpart, the app is focused on discovery. If you search for a track, artist or album, the app will return results that include everything from popular covers and remixes to concert videos. You can create playlists, listen to personalized stations and get recommendations on the app’s home page.
YouTube Music is free as a standalone app, but a $12.99/month YouTube Red subscription will buy you extra features, like ad-free and offline listening, the ability to switch between video and audio-only streams and the option to listen to tracks and videos while in other apps (finally, YouTube).
YouTube Music is available now on iOS and Android, and a download provides you with a free 14-day trial of YouTube Red.
Google is likely hoping YouTube Music will help drive people toward its new YouTube Red subscription service, which launched last month. A YouTube Red subscription also comes with on-demand access to Google Play Music — that’s Google’s other music streaming service — and those who already subscribe to Play Music will be able to use YouTube Music’s premium features.
It’s unclear whether a new service built around music videos, which most people are already used to getting for free, will help YouTube Red gain traction but the app should be a welcome addition to YouTube’s many music-loving users. To help promote the new service, the company is giving new users access to the premium features for free for the first 14 days.