Google to Aggressively Improve YouTube Music

Posted on August 2, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Google Play Music, Music + Videos, YouTube Music with 8 Comments

Google launched YouTube Music in May, and said that the service would eventually replace Google Play Music. But Google’s strategy is confusing, and each of its music services has some unique features that the other lacks. When will the firm consolidate these solutions into a single service?

That’s still not entirely clear. But in a discussion with Engadget, Google’s Elias Roman detailed how the firm plans to aggressively update YouTube Music on a regular schedule going forward.

“There is still a ton of work to do,” he told the blog. “It’s a constant iteration.”

Here’s what we found out.

Google will release updates to its YouTube Music service and apps every two weeks. And it will add features and functionality that are missing from YouTube Music but present in Google Play Music or other services, and will do so partially based on customer requests.

Key among them:

  • Allow customers to store music on an SD card or hard drive. This is a apparently a top request and is a feature that is “now rolling out to subscribers.”
  • The ability to sort albums by something other than Recently Added.
  • The ability to filter followed artists from followed YouTubers.
  • The ability to configure audio quality settings for streaming and downloaded content.

One thing that Google is not focused on, however, is exclusives. And that is a decision I fully support.

“We are not focused on exclusives,” Roman said. “We don’t believe exclusives are good for the industry or good for consumers.”


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Comments (8)

8 responses to “Google to Aggressively Improve YouTube Music”

  1. Rycott

    'The ability to sort albums by something other than Recently Added.'

    Maybe I'm getting old but... shouldn't this have been in at launch. Maybe people these days listen to music differently than me but there are certainly times I just want to listen to a good album.

  2. Nischi

    I like that they try to make this a competitor to the other services such as Spotify. But I have a real hard time switching since my AV-receiver and TV (both pretty new from 2017) only supports Spotify and for some reason Pandora.

    I have a 3 month trial, and I'm liking it so far, much due to the extra available music through the Youtube-library. But I cannot stream it from my AV-receiver, and thus it's of no good use to me.

    This is a problem. I wish there were a standard instead for streaming audio, instead of just being ceritified for "Spotify streaming", it could just as well be "audio streaming" or whatever.

  3. wolters

    I am still a traditional music library person, that is I want to listen to music from my library (both uploaded and streaming). That said, I have to say their "recommended" playlists work pretty well and I find myself using it more often. Except I wish they would quit thinking I want to hear Toto's Africa every day!

    My primary service is still Google Play Music but will be excited to move over to YTM as soon as I am able to.

  4. Daekar

    So... when am I going to be able to listen to my uploaded Google Play Music library? Because without that YTM is pretty useless.

  5. bluvg

    I think YTM is the one to beat. They have one hard-to-match advantage: access to all the videos as well (including offline), many of which are not available at any of the other streaming services (you want "New World Man" by Rush or "New World Men" playing Rush?). With this, I mourn the death of Groove (aka legion) a bit less.

  6. Yaggs

    This whole thing screams of Microsoft... lets take a quality product and decide to start from complete scratch on a new replacement product... hopefully in 3 years it will have half the features of the product it's replacing.

    No mention of Android Auto support? I couldn't even think of moving to YouTube Music without that.

  7. UbelhorJ

    I'm still not sure what YouTube Music is supposed to offer over Google Play Music. Did they hire some 2000s Microsoft management people and decide to have different teams battle it out by developing similar products?

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