YouTube Music has recently received a slew of new features, and now YouTube has announced in a blog post that free users of the music streaming app will be able to listen to music in the background, which was previously only available to paying subscribers.
Background playback will soon be available on YouTube Music’s free version
With this new change, you’ll be able to close the app, minimize your screen, or lock your phone without the app’s music interrupting your experience, and without having to close the message informing you that background playback is only available to paying subscribers. Beginning on November 3, 2021, users in Canada will be able to listen to background music.
For free users, YouTube Music will offer a radio-like experience, while those without a Premium account will be subject to advertisements. Continual radio stations based on your favorite songs, albums, and artists will also be available with the new update.
On top of that, you’ll be able to shuffle through personalized playlists. The songs you’ve uploaded to the YouTube Music app will, of course, remain accessible at all times.
Furthermore, thanks to Google Assistant driving mode, the new update will provide drivers with a hands-free YouTube Music experience.
The blog does not specify a timeline for a wider, more global rollback of the new free YouTube Music option, but it does state that an announcement of expansion plans will be made soon. However, no date has been set for a wider rollout at this time.
Latest YouTube Music additions
It was recently reported that the YouTube Music widget is getting the Android 12 “Material You” redesign for Android phones. The widget resembles a vinyl record, with two icons on the top and bottom: a play/pause button on the bottom and a thumbs up button on the top.
This change was made to match the Android 12 Material You redesign, which includes a more visually appealing experience, rounded corners, and backgrounds that match your wallpaper color choice.
Another new YouTube Music feature that we reported on is the ability to search for songs that have already been downloaded from the app’s search bar.
Originally, you had to go to Library > Downloads in the YouTube Music app to find the downloaded songs. Things are improving now in terms of accessing your downloaded content. The new update adds a new tab called “Downloads” to your search results.
This way, when you’re looking for a song, you’ll have an easier time finding it. Even if you’re offline, the feature will work, but you’ll only see two tabs: YouTube Music and Downloads.
YouTube Music has recently grown in popularity, and a recent report clearly demonstrates how much people enjoy the music streaming service. In September, the number of paid subscribers to YouTube Music and YouTube Premium passed the 50 million mark.
The 50 million figure includes subscribers to both YouTube Music Premium and the broader YouTube Premium service, which allows users to watch videos without ads.
This figure includes people who are still on a trial period. The company has not revealed how much money it makes from these subscribers or what the average cost of its services is.
Google has tried several times in the last decade to launch a music subscription service with various products and names with little success, but it now appears that YouTube has finally figured out how to offer a Spotify-rivaling service under the name YouTube Music.
According to Midia Research, YouTube is currently the fastest-growing paid music service in the world. Despite the fact that it now has 8% of the world’s subscribers, Spotify remains the undisputed king by a wider margin.