Stakes Heighten for Streaming Companies

It’s a struggle every smartphone user has come to loathe: locking their phone while a YouTube video is playing, assuming the audio will continue, just to be incredibly disappointed as they hear nothing but silence. Luckily for those sick of this dilemma, YouTube has come up with a solution – YouTube Music.

YouTube Music is a subscription service that allows users to enjoy music on YouTube ad-free, for a fee of $12.99 a month. This music-streaming app could put YouTube squarely up against rival services like Spotify and Apple Music. YouTube Music would allow users to listen to their favorite music tracks – that will continue to play even when that pesky app is closed.

“I think I might have to invest in this app because I can never find music I want on Spotify but can find it on YouTube,” said Cary Rucker, junior. “I always get so frustrated when my music stops when I lock my phone, so I definitely have to look into YouTube Music.”

YouTube Music, like various other popular streaming apps, does offer a free version for those unwilling to pay the $12.99 a month fee. Using the free version, YouTube Music holds a strong likeness to what’s currently available on the primary YouTube app, complete with advertisements.

YouTube Music features a simplified interface dedicated only to music; with a discovery section meant to show what the user would want to listen to, a “What’s Trending” global section and a section which collects all previously liked music videos.

In comparison, the paid version of YouTube Music will stream music without ads and allow songs to be saved for offline listening. This feature in particular is what makes the app most appealing. Even without Internet connection, one can still enjoy favorite tracks.

“We’re seeing an evolution where people are willing to pay subscriptions to avoid listening to ads, and receive offline listening. Companies need to find out what music lovers want and how to deliver it to them at the most reasonable price,” said Professor Gary Carlin. “I think that whoever wins this race is going to be the company with the most music the ability to add the most bells and whistles such as offline listening, and original content.”

Dubbed the “Offline Mixtape,” YouTube Music allows users to create a playlist, which can consist of up to 100 songs, including previous likes and suggested songs. The app will also generate a playlist based on any artist one plugs into the search bar, or play popular songs from any particular artist.

Though one may argue alternate streaming applications, such as Spotify or Google Play Music, function as virtually the same system, YouTube does have a leg up on the competition – it features a much wider selection of music.

“YouTube has a huge and eclectic collection, including live performances, remixes, and esotera that can’t be found on any other fully licensed platforms,” said Brendan Klinkenberg, a Buzzfeed news reporter. “If YouTube can keep the labels happy — no small feat — the company could distinguish itself from rivals with a substantially different offering.”

For those interested, YouTube Music is available for download now in the App Store. Unfortunately for competing streaming applications, YouTube is seriously stepping up its game.

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