Google-owned YouTube prepared to introduce a standalone music streaming service app and desktop player, which will see it compete with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music.
Noting that more than 1 billion people listen to music on YouTube, and 2 million artists use the platform to showcase their talent, the company said the new service is being launched because “YouTube was made for video, not just music”.
The new service will use “a reimagined mobile app” with “thousands of playlists, the official versions of millions of songs, albums, artists, radio and more, in addition to all the music videos people expect from YouTube.”
“The days of jumping back and forth between multiple music apps and YouTube are over. Whether you want to listen, watch or discover, it’s all here,” the company said in a blog post.
YouTube’s app will also focus on better search and recommendations. For instance users can search for a song by describing it or typing parts of the lyrics, and the app will also adapt to provide recommendations based on user behaviour.
Much like Spotify, there will be a free advertising-supported version, while YouTube Music Premium will cost $9.99 a month.
Starting next week, the app will roll out in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea: it will hit countries in Europe in the following weeks.