App

Come for the music, stay for YouTube Premium

Price: Free
Version: 2.39.3
Size: 176.1 MB
Platform: iPhone / iPad
Developer: Google, Inc.

Get YouTube Music

We definitely don’t need another music streaming service. But YouTube Music is a little different, because for a few dollars more, it ships with the entire YouTube Premium package.

Let’s start by talking about the music app. YouTube Music is much like Apple Music and Spotify in terms of its core features: the monthly fee is the same (at $10/£10), it offers streaming or downloads for offline listening, and you can even AirPlay tracks to your Apple TV or speaker. A free ad-supported tier is also available to choose from.

The main interface lets listeners search for tracks, check on curated playlists, or access their library.

There are music recommendation features, including personal mixtapes which are generated based on the artists you like, and you can also subscribe to artists or listen to curated playlists if you’re searching for something new. YouTube being YouTube, video features in the app in the form of music videos and live performances, and this is a nice addition (albeit one we’ve also seen in the app’s competitors).

When playing music, users can enjoy a minimal dark interface which fits nicely with Apple’s iOS.

However, YouTube Music is different in two ways, and these could lure subscribers away from Apple Music and Spotify. First, in YouTube Music you get access to the entire YouTube catalog: this includes the huge number of covers and originals which musicians have uploaded (and are continuing to upload) to the video site. If you often browse through YouTube watching new content, this could be one reason to ditch Apple and switch to YouTube Music. The app has an ever-expanding library, with new material being uploaded on a daily basis.

The other reason is YouTube Premium. YouTube Music can indeed be yours for $10/£10 per month. But for a little more, users gain access to YouTube Premium — formerly YouTube Red — which includes a number of additional services.

Your library provides a place for all the music you’ve saved.

The $12/£12 monthly fee indeed gets you YouTube Music, but also YouTube Gaming and YouTube Kids, which are standalone apps. Additionally, YouTube Premium subscribers can watch videos ad-free, access original content, and even save videos from YouTube to their device for offline viewing. YouTube videos will also play their audio in the background once you’re a Premium subscriber, something frustratingly not possible through the regular YouTube app.

The Hotlist interface lets users browse through music and video that’s been placed under the spotlight.

So this is YouTube Music’s biggest piece of bait for potential subscribers: for $2 more than the cost of Apple Music, you get a decent music streaming service and access to a suite of additional services and features.

Best of all, YouTube is offering free access to YouTube Premium on a trial basis for anyone who’s still on the fence. Take the service for a spin and see what you think — you could find that YouTube Music ends up becoming your new streaming service.

Review: YouTube Music - solid music streaming with extra perks
For
  • A decent music streaming app
  • Access to additional YouTube music content
  • Bundled Premium features are an added bonus
Against
  • No desktop equivalent
4.5Overall Score