Google has announced a somewhat limited and ad -supported version of YouTube Music. Pitched directly at the owners of smart speakers and other similar devices, Google is trying to ensure it doesn’t become a bit player as Spotify, Soundcloud and iHeartRadio dominate the streaming music business.
Calling it a “a free experience with ads” – which really isn’t free – Google doesn’t allow you to choose specific songs or create your own playlists with the service. You tell the service what type of music you want and it chooses tracks for you.
If you have a Google Home device, go to Account Settings in the Google Home app, choose Services and then select Music. Set YouTube Music as the default music service and you’re done.
The idea is that, assuming you like it, you can then subscribe to YouTube Music Premium for $11.99 a month after the usual first month free deal.
With other streaming services already enjoying high numbers of subscribers and integration into a number of different streaming platforms, it’s hard to imaging YouTube Music making a lot of headway, particularly as this new service is limited to Google Home devices – and most of the owners are probably already using Spotify, IHeartRadio or some other service.
I’m not convinced this late entry into the market will be enough to get people to switch platforms or add another subscription.