YouTube Music Takes on Spotify with a New App

Lots of people watch music videos on YouTube, but when it’s time to listen to music on their phone, they reach for Spotify. Now, a new app called YouTube Music wants to change that.

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Forget about MTV - when you think when you think music videos, you probably head to YouTube.

Now, YouTube wants to take its music smarts mobile with a new app called YouTube Music.

Recently I've been playing with the new app and you can read my full review here, but here are the highlights.

YouTube Music has actually been around for a few years, but the app just got a major makeover and some new features.

For starters, the app is a mix of audio and video. There’s a toggle so you can switch from listening to a song to watching the associated music video - but I find that the switch doesn't always work.

YouTube Music has a lot of great playlists and the music selection is fantastic, but there’s no easy way to browse through categories of music. Instead, you have to wade through personalized options that show up on the home screen. That's unfortunate since there is a lot here, it's just tough to find.

You can use the search function which is excellent. That makes sense since they're using Google technology.

You can search for things like "that song from Moana" or even use voice search with some lyrics.

Thre's a section of YouTube Music filled with popular music videos and a feature called MixTape - this is an always updated playlist of music picked just for you and automatically downloaded to your phone (if you pay the monthly fee, more on that in a bit).

My favorite feature is a section called Live Performances - these are videos featuring live (usually TV) appearances of your favorite artists. It's stuff you might never search for on your own, but it's super spot on and fun to watch.

Overall, YouTube music offers a great selection of tunes, plus one of kind remixes and live performances all in one place.

It’s highly personalized but a bit disorganized compared to other music apps like Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora.

You can listen to YouTube Music for free, but there will be ads and you can’t leave the app or switch to another or the music will stop.

However, if you pay $10 dollars a month you can ditch the ads, enable background play and the cool Offline MixTape feature.

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NOW LISTEN: Here's my podcast, Rich on Tech, with an in-depth look at YouTube Music. Subscribe here.