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YouTube Music streaming review: Pricing, plans and devices

Stream your favorite songs and get exclusive videos.

YouTube Music differentiates itself from services like Spotify and Apple Music by focusing on music videos instead of just audio. But it still offers official albums, singles, remixes, live performances, covers and hard-to-find songs.

30 Days

Free trial length

$9.99

Individual plan price

30 Million

Library size

Details

Streaming quality 128 kbps
Available offline Yes
Library size 30 Million
Basic subscription $9.99
Free trial Yes
Free trial length 30 Days
Family plan offered Yes
Family plan device limit 6
Family plan price $14.99

Pros

  • Large library of audio and video content. If you’re looking for hard-to-find music or fan-made remixes, YouTube Music has content you can’t find anywhere else.
  • Great song reccomendations. YouTube Music’s recommendation engine is one of the best on the market, even when compared to Spotify.

Cons

  • Audio quality may vary. Because it has a large library of songs from both official and unofficial creators, there’s no guarantee you’ll always get the highest quality music playback.

What features does YouTube Music support?

YouTube Music offers a number of features designed to enhance your music-listening experience, including:

Exclusive videos

In addition to regular music videos, YouTube Music offers a variety of live recordings, concert footage and artist interviews unavailable on other music services. These videos span all decades of recorded music, from live black-and-white footage of The Beatles to comprehensive coverage of Coachella.

Playlists

Different moods call for different music, and the easiest way to ensure you’ve always got the right mix for any occasion is to craft a selection of custom playlists. YouTube Music lets you build as many playlists as you want, and you can share them with friends by sending them a link.

YouTube Music also offers ready-made mixes to expand your musical horizons. In addition to trending tracks and genre compilations, the service builds personalized playlists based on your listening habits, combining artists you know with similar ones you haven’t listened to before.

Personalized recommendations

YouTube Music features a home screen that adapts to provide recommendations based on what you’ve played before, where you are and what you’re doing. And it boasts a smart search function to help you find any song even if you can’t remember what it’s called.

Audio-only mode and background music

The paid version of the app includes audio-only mode, which plays a selected song without loading its video. This can be useful if you want to conserve battery power or reduce your mobile data usage.

And YouTube Music Premium subscribers can continue to listen to music through the YouTube Music app even if they switch to another app or turn off their device’s screen. For users with free subscriptions, either of these actions will cause YouTube Music to immediately stop playing music.

Offline play

Premium subscribers can download songs, albums, playlists and videos in advance and play them without an Internet connection.

You can also activate your offline mix tape, which automatically downloads music for you based on what you’ve been listening to recently so you can discover new music even when you’re offline. You can set a storage limit on how many tracks the offline mix tape will automatically download to keep your device’s storage from getting clogged up.

As convenient as offline play is, it’s not without its limitations. You’ll need to connect YouTube Music to the Internet at least once every 30 days to verify your subscription and keep listening to music offline. If you don’t, you’ll no longer be able to play your downloaded music.

What music is available on YouTube Music?

YouTube Music has 30 million songs available, many of which include official music videos from popular artists like Bruno Mars, Macklemore, Kesha, Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift.

There’s plenty of music to suit more niche tastes, too, from gospel and meditation music to the latest hits coming out of Bosnia and Lebanon. And new tracks are approved and added to YouTube Music on a regular basis.

What devices are compatible with YouTube Music?

YouTube Music is available on:

  • PCs, Macs and Linux-based computers
  • Android smartphones and tablets
  • iOS devices, including iPhones and iPads

How much does YouTube Music cost?

TierMonthly costFeatures
Free$0
  • Access all videos, playlists and recommendations
  • Ads may be played between songs
Premium$9.99
  • Access all videos, playlists and recommendations
  • Ad-free
  • Audio-only mode
  • Offline listening
  • Music can continue to play when the app’s screen isn’t displayed
Premium family plan$14.99
  • Available for up to 6 family members
  • Access all videos, playlists and recommendations
  • Ad-free
  • Audio-only mode
  • Offline listening
  • Music can continue to play when the app’s screen isn’t displayed
Premium for students$4.99
  • Requires annual verification
  • Access all videos, playlists and recommendations
  • Ad-free
  • Audio-only mode
  • Offline listening
  • Music can continue to play when the app’s screen isn’t displayed

Compare music streaming services

Updated October 16th, 2019
Name Product Free trial length Library size Streaming quality Offline availability Individual plan price
30 Days
50 Million
256 kbps
Yes
$9.99
Apple Music
Apple Music
3 Months
30 Million
320 kbps
Yes
$9.99
30 Days
25 Million
320 kbps
Mobile only
$10
Tidal HiFi
Tidal HiFi
30 Days
25 Million
1411 kbps
Mobile only
$20
30 Days
56 Million
320 kbps
Yes
$9.99
3 Months
35 Million
320 kbps
Yes
$9.99
SoundCloud Go+
SoundCloud Go+
30 Days
120 Million
Not revealed
Yes
$9.99
1-2 Months
30 Million
320 kbps
Yes
$4.99
90 Days
30 Million
160 kbps
Yes
$9.99
iHeartRadio Plus
iHeartRadio Plus
30 Days
20 Million
128 kbps
Yes
$5.99
30 Days
35 Million
320 kbps
Mobile only
$9.99
30 Days
30 Million
128 kbps
Yes
$9.99
3 Months
Not revealed
Yes
$8

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Combining YouTube’s massive collection of both music video and audio with a simple user interface gives you access to a staggering amount of content to discover with ease. It may not have the best audio quality or quite as many exclusive features compared to other music streaming services, but if you’re more interested in streaming and downloading music videos, or have a taste for obscure music not available elsewhere, it could be the option for you.

Check out our music streaming page to read more reviews and browse the best deals for music lovers.

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