YouTube Has FINALLY Released Its Music App

YouTube Music 1

YouTube is by far the biggest source for online music in this arm of the galaxy, dwarfing all other online sources put together. We’ve been hearing for months, years that YouTube was working on some kind of music app to capitalize on that. That day has finally come.  Billboard summarizes everything.

YouTube has done this by making every song you listen to into a “station” that generates, through a hybrid algorithm/human editorial formula, an endless playlist of music pulled from the music catalogs YouTube has licensed, as well as the user-generated content that originally made the video giant a video giant. (The endless playlist feature will be familiar to users of SoundCloud — Fowler praised the platform when we pointed this out.) Through a slider just like the brightness controls on your phone, listeners can select how adventurous they want their recommendations to be; get weird, or stick with the same artist. Through the “Explore” sub-tab, listeners can dig into related videos, which can include live performances by the band or user-generated content. Viewers are given the option of toggling video playback on or off to save battery. When the screen is locked, the video is removed automatically.

The center of the app keeps things simple, with three main sections, “Home,” “Music Today” and “Likes.” Home functions much the same as Spotify or Apple Music, with a selection of genre stations and a user’s main, personalized station. Music Today, which Fowler calls “cultural relevance 101,” features a list of the day’s 40 most-popular videos as well stations featuring on-the-rise artists and trending videos or songs. The Likes tab is where a listener’s favorites are saved.

More of Billboard’s coverage can be found here. Meanwhile, YouTube has this on its blog.

Usher discovers Bieber. Psy breaks a billion. Macklemore goes from the garage to the Grammys. Pentatonix top the charts. Over the past ten years, music on YouTube has been magic. We’ve seen established artists reach new heights and new artists explode on the scene. We’ve seen our fans shake, get happy and let it go. And together, they’ve made YouTube the absolute best place in the world to discover new music.

Today, any artist can upload a video to YouTube and get discovered by over 1 billion people around the globe. That global exposure has allowed YouTube and Google to pay out over $3 billion to the record industry to date. But it’s also provided an incredible source of promotion for artists, helping fuel ticket sales, move merchandise, and boost album and song downloads. Just this month, Adele’s “Hello” became the fastest rising video of the year on YouTube, while also breaking the record for first week download sales.

But we want to do even more to support artists and all the fans who turn to YouTube to discover music, so we’re making the experience even better with a brand new YouTube Music app. With YouTube Music, you’ll get a completely new type of experience, designed to make discovering music on YouTube easier than ever.

Here are some screenshots of the app–on Android, of course.

YouTube Music 2

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Finally, here’s what YouTube sent to me.

A YouTube built just for music.

YouTube Music is designed to make discovering, watching and listening to music easier than ever. Any song or artist you choose on YouTube Music will start you on a personal journey through one of the richest music catalogs; just sign in, tap a track you love, and see where your music takes you.

  1. Fans love music and connecting with their favorite artists on YouTube
  • Fundamentally, music is about artists, fans and the songs that bring them together. We believe there’s no better place for artists and fans to make that connection than on YouTube. Fans on YouTube don’t just listen – they watch, like, share, remix, and cover the music they love.
  • For artists, YouTube serves as one of the most powerful forces for distribution in music history. Any artist – at any stage in their music career – can upload a music video to YouTube and get discovered by over 1 billion people around the globe.
  • But we want to take things to the next level, giving artists a new way to tap into the passion of fans who turn to YouTube as their primary source of music.

 

  1. Why build a dedicated music app?
  • Today there are many ways to enjoy music on mobile devices – we wanted to build a uniquely YouTube experience for fans to discover and experience music.
  • Our goal was threefold:
    • to create an effortless lean back experience for fans to listen to their favorite songs.
    • facilitate an easier way to navigate YouTube’s nearly endless catalog of music.
    • and the ability to watch video or just listen to the audio only.
  • But above all, something that was uniquely YouTube

 

  1. Explore a nearly endless catalog:
  • One tap starts your journey: No matter where you start, every song, artist, album or style of music you choose begins a personal non-stop station based on what you have listened to and liked in the past. Plus, the more you listen and like, the better it understands your tastes – meaning stations get smarter every time you use the app.
  • Endless catalog: This is where the magic of YouTube Music happens. As you explore, you can find hot new videos next to obscure and rare releases, as well as historical recordings, covers, remixes, and more – all just one touch away from what you’re already listening to.
  • The newest tracks and artists: Want to know what’s happening on YouTube Music right now? Tap the trending tab and you’ll be served up hot tracks, emerging artists, and classic hits in ‘The Daily 40’. Or look at a selection of artists just about to breakthrough in ‘On The Rise’.
  • Fine tune your music journey: Every song creates an endless station, so as you listen you can look at what’s coming next, and even control the variety of your queue to either be more adventurous or listen to similar songs from the same or similar artist.

 

  1. Amplify your experience with YouTube Red
  • Though you can enjoy the YouTube Music app for free, when you sign into the app with a YouTube Red membership you’ll be able to play music in the background, get ad-free videos, and the ability to listen to music offline. YouTube Red also includes audio mode, an exclusive YouTube Red benefit for the Music app that lets you play the songs you love without loading video.

 

  1. A new revenue stream for artists – and a great experience for fans.
  • We are committed to working with the music industry, and we are excited to deliver three ways for the industry to partner with us: ad-supported on YouTube, transactional on Google Play Music and now revenue from subscriptions with YouTube Red.
  • Today, any artist can upload a video to YouTube and get discovered by over 1 billion people around the globe. That global exposure has allowed YouTube and Google to pay out over $3 billion to the record industry to date. But it’s also provided an incredible source of promotion for artists, helping fuel ticket sales, move merchandise, and boost album and song downloads. Just this month, Adele’s “Hello” became the fastest rising video of the year on YouTube, while also breaking the record for first week download sales.

 

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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