Free YouTube Music with Audio Only, No Video without Premium

Starting next month, YouTube Music will get free background listening as part of a major overhaul of the ad-supported tier of the streaming service. In this context, the YouTube Music application is only audio and will no longer play videos if you do not pay Premium.

With background playback, the app will continue to play music when it is no longer open or your screen is turned off. This previously required a paid subscription to YouTube Premium (or Music Premium). Today, those who don’t pay can watch videos found in Home and Explore feeds, as well as search. However, they cannot use the transparent “Song / Video” selector at the top of the Now Playing screen.

To balance the upcoming change, free YouTube Music users will no longer be able to watch music videos in the app. This becomes an advantage of YouTube Premium as Google turns YouTube Music for free users into an audio-only experience. Users are advised to use the main YouTube client to regularly watch videos.

This change begins on November 3, when the free background game rolls out. He first arrived in Canada with “global expansion plans” not yet detailed. Google has confirmed this change to videos in YouTube Music, while a help article introduces the new ranking system.

Those who don’t pay for YouTube Music (and see an “Upgrade” tab in the bottom bar) can:

  • listen to music in the background
  • Shuffle play custom mixes (which are made just for you!)
  • find the perfect mood mixes for activities like training, commuting and more
  • explore millions of songs and thousands of playlists, for free

Meanwhile, YouTube Premium allows users:

  • listen to songs on demand
  • watch videos on YouTube Music
  • skip tracks an unlimited number of times
  • enjoy YouTube Music ad-free

It comes as Apple Music presented a cheaper “vocal plan” on Monday. As usual, Google and YouTube are only fighting this with a free “radio-like” tier that is supported by advertising.

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Victor L. Jones