Recently I saw an ad for YouTube Music. Not the popular website where a wide variety videos can be viewed, but YouTube’s own digital streaming platform. It launched in May 2018 but it is not even on the map compared to other streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music. Many people, like me, have never even heard of it.
Similar to Spotify and Apple Music, YouTube Music includes millions of licensed songs, albums, playlists and even its own mobile and desktop app. It has different price points from a free ad-supported subscription to a premium paid subscription. With the premium plan, users can download and listen to all of their favorite music without the ads. It even works with Google Play Music. Subscribers of Google Play Music can combine their accounts and enjoy the benefits of both streaming services. It is reported that over time, YouTube Music will eliminate Google Play Music.
YouTube Music also combined with YouTube Red. With the new streaming service, new users can enjoy YouTube original movies and stream their favorite songs, for a higher price subscription plan of course. Existing users of YouTube Red can enjoy the same price they previously paid.
While YouTube has put forth much effort to be apart of the multi-billion dollar subscription market, they have had little success. It is their fourth attempt at getting users to pay for content. The first issue is the marketing behind the subscription service. In the beginning there was a lot of speculation of when the app would come out. Buzz began around May, with many thinking it was available then, but in reality it did not become officially launch til a few months after. YouTube was not clear and transparent about the service and there is still tons of speculation around the app. Many people do not know it even exists. Since YouTube previously had 3 other separate services, YouTube Music should have been marketed based on what stood out compared to the other services.
Second when it did launch YouTube had not fixed the “bugs” with the app. According to users, audio quality is a major issue, along with many additional problems. It also did not offer any new exciting features, that other apps did not already have. It even lacked features that other streaming services such as Spotify offered. Overall YouTube did not market anything new, making it hard for users to be convinced to pay instead of using the free online website.
Picture credit: https://www.stereo.net.au/news/new-youtube-music-rolls-into-australia-and-nz-today