YouTube Launches Music Mobile App to Compete with Spotify and Apple Music

Within a month of introducing YouTube Red, a $9.99 per month service that provides ads-free access to all YouTube services, Alphabet Inc launches the YouTube Music Mobile App, a new music-streaming service that aims to capitalize on its dominance in this space.

Youtube Music App

Youtube Music App

In a feature, it hopes will be a key selling point, YouTube Music will create non-stop stations tailored to users, who can fine-tune how much variety they want.

Users can use the app like a standard music service, searching for artists and playing individual songs or albums. It has licensed the same pool of roughly 30 million audio tracks, users would find on its competitors.

The launch of this app throws a direct competition to players like Spotify and Apple Music. Spotify leads the market with approximately 20 million paid subscribers as of the data generated in June 2015.

Although the YouTube app is free for all users, only YouTube Red accounts can access its full range of options. Red users can turn data-sapping music videos into audio-only streams and listen to audio of all videos while multitasking on devices with the background mode function. They can also download songs to an in-app playlist that runs on or offline.

Commenting on the product, T. Jay Fowler, the director of product development who was involved in earlier services Beats Music and MOG, said that he hoped to draw more people to streaming instead of simply competing with other companies.

YouTube, like Spotify, has a big built-in advantage when it comes to personalization and recommendation. Over the last decade, users have made hundreds of millions of playlists, an explicit act of curation that allows YouTube’s machine learning algorithms to understand what songs sound good together and what tracks belong in a genre-specific playlist. Along with input from users and structured metadata added by the music labels, it is a search engine, hence, a repository of data.