YouTube Music gets free background playback option, but there’s a catch

YouTube today announced that the YouTube Music app will now support free background playback. Initially from November 3, the feature will be available in Canada for the first time.

Background playback in the YouTube Music app is currently only available to YouTube Premium subscribers. You cannot minimize the app if you are not a paying customer. When you switch to another app or turn off your screen, playback stops.

With this feature, users will be able to use the YouTube Music app like any other music app, even if they are not paying customers. They will also be able to listen to radio stations and create playlists. You can listen to all the songs you downloaded anytime you want.

The free tier is ad-supported, so if you don’t want to hear ads between songs, you’ll need to upgrade to the Premium plan.

This feature when it arrives in India can be a good deal for those looking for another free Spotify alternative. Currently, Spotify, JioSaavn, Wynk are among the leading free music streaming apps.

Here’s what the official YouTube page says you’ll get

  • Listen to your music in the background: Now you can continue listening to your music after minimizing the app or turning off your screen. Go for a run, reply to a text or check your emails without stopping your music.
  • ENJOY Streaming and Shuffle Stations: Immerse yourself in this new playback experience with streaming radio stations based on your favorite songs, albums and artists. Improve your listening with personalized shuffle playlists, like Mixed for you in the Home tab, which features mixes inspired by your ever-evolving music ecosystem. If you’ve uploaded songs to the YouTube Music app, you can continue listening to them at any time, and you can also continue to stream music and videos, on demand, with the YouTube app.
  • Focus on what’s important: With the Google Assistant Drive Mode, drivers can now stay focused on the road while staying safe and entertained with a hands-free YouTube Music experience.


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