Until recently there was no one who coughed on Spotify. Apple has managed to recover much of the lost ground thanks to Apple Music and its integration into the iPhone and the ecosystem of services of the company, and now Google seems to also want to finally bet on a segment that was still escaping between the fingers.
The last strategy of Google is to preinstall YouTube Music in all new phones to be launched from now.
Competing from a much stronger position
The competitor of Google for Spotify will therefore be much more present from the beginning for hundreds of millions of users worldwide, and now there is only one problem: YouTube Music convinces those users to pay for it. There are ballots to do it, by the way.
In the official Google blog, those responsible explained the decision and referred to the options of YouTube Music to become a musical companion anywhere, including that “hard to find music” that YouTube presumes to have in front of other streaming platforms.
This service therefore displaces Google Play Music, which to date was also preinstalled on Android devices. This tool will still be available in the Google Play store if we want to download it, but it will no longer be pre-installed in the mobile phones that appear in the market from now on.
Google and its YouTube Music want their piece of cake
The music streaming segment has become one of the most competitive in the entertainment field, and although Spotify takes advantage of other platforms, they have been taking advantage of their opportunity in this market for some time.
The one that has grown the most in that aspect in Apple Music, which in June 2019 exceeded 60 million paid subscribers when Spotify had exceeded 100 million somewhat earlier, in April.
YouTube Music is still far from those figures. In May 2019, it had 15 million paid subscribers according to sources cited in Bloomberg, and on Google they have an important challenge if they want to succeed with YouTube Music for several reasons.
Pros and cons of YouTube Music
First, because the application, generates many complaints and bad reviews. The name has not helped: “YouTube Music” suggests a service that will have all the advantages of YouTube but applied to the music world, and this is not the case. For example, it is not possible to listen to music in the background unless you are not a paid subscriber.
That clashes with that completely free philosophy that YouTube has offered us since its inception. In YouTube Music that changes and “options” like the background playback are “covered”. The maturity of the Spotify service is also a difficult point to refute, but YouTube Music has its ballots.
For example, the fact that if we pay for the subscription no advertising will appear. And when we say that it will not appear, it will not be on YouTube Music or YouTube. We get rid of ads both in streaming audio and in the videos that we can watch on YouTube (in addition to having access to YouTube Premium).
Added to this are striking options such as a unique catalog that includes concerts, and music by independent artists who usually promote their channels on YouTube and that will be available on YouTube Music.
The YouTube Music recommendation system is also an adaptation of that of YouTube, so if you think that this algorithm works well with videos, its features will also satisfy you in the case of audio. The ability to exchange between “audio only” version or watch the video clip if we are interested in part of the music catalog is also flashy and differential compared to Spotify.
The service has also been adapting characteristics of its competitors, and has been adding playlists generated based on moods and also others such as the Launches that was announced a month ago or the new ‘Discover Mix’ that are the adaptation of the ‘Weekly Discovery’ of Spotify.
There is of course room for maneuver for YouTube Music to improve, and criticisms are frequent in the subrredit dedicated to this platform. One of its users made a good summary of the advantages and disadvantages of the service, and pointed to necessary options such as better social options to follow users or, for example, a desktop application for computer users, not mobile.
The pre-installation of YouTube Music on new Android phones may be an important step to try to convince users to try the tool, but Google still has a lot of work ahead to try to make their service clearly superior to Spotify and other alternatives.
Via | Google Blog