Google gives and goes when it comes to the free level of YouTube Music

While Wear OS 2 smartwatch users finally have access to the YouTube Music app, Google plans to make some changes to its music streaming product on November 3. The free tier is both the beneficiary and the victim of the proposed changes which add background listening but also remove the ability for free users to watch music videos.

As you can guess, if you subscribe to the Premium level, you have nothing to worry about. If, on the other hand, you just keep using the free tier, you will be limited to strictly listening to your favorite music instead of watching the corresponding videos. That’s right, you won’t be able to watch Lady Gaga strutting around in her latest music video anymore. You will need to subscribe to YouTube Music Premium if you want to continue watching music videos on the service.

If you are unsure of the differences between the paid and free tiers, the YouTube Music support page lists the following:

Those who listen to free music with ads will now be able to

  • Listening to music in the background
  • Random play of custom mixes (made just for you!)
  • Find the perfect mood mixes for activities like a workout, commute, and more
  • Explore millions of songs and thousands of playlists, for free

Those who pay for a YouTube Premium subscription will be able to enjoy additional exclusive benefits, such as the ability to

  • Listen to songs on demand
  • Watch videos on YouTube Music
  • Skip tracks an unlimited number of times
  • Enjoy YouTube Music Ad-Free

The changes will take effect initially in Canada from November 3 and other regions will follow.


He’s been an Android fan ever since he owned an HTC Hero, the Dell Streak being his first phablet. He’s currently carrying a Realme GT Neo 2 in his pockets, a Lenovo Yoga Tab 11 in his backpack, and isn’t shy about lugging a 17-inch laptop around the world. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, he is passionate about sports and, like all South Africans, he loves a good Braai (BBQ).



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Victor L. Jones