After missed deadlines and a long wait, it’s finally here: YouTube Music has launched in Canada.
Along with it has arrived YouTube Premium.
This gives YouTube users ability to stream music other than what viewers and users normally find on the platform, driven by personal taste, preferences and viewing habits.
The company says YouTube Music provides users with a single screen to access not just album cuts and concert footage but full albums, singles, remixes, covers and other select content that’s only available on YouTube, plus recommendations for other artists that a listener might like and playlists for certain scenarios (a beach playlist, motivating music, that sort of thing).
YouTube also promises to take the guess work out of finding a song that’s running around the listener’s head, even if she doesn’t know the exact name: “We’ll find the song, even if you can’t remember what it’s called,” the company says in a press release Monday. “’That space-themed Spice Girls song in the desert.’ Here you go. You can also search by lyrics (even if they’re wrong.) It’s ‘Hold me closer, Tony Danza,’ right?”
Expect YouTube Music to be fully stocked and aware of all the current trends, too, on each user’s Hotlist screen.
There are tiers, of course, including YouTube Music Premium, which will get rid of ads and offers “on-the-go” downloads, all for $9.99 per month or $14.99 per month with a family plan.
“Starting today, YouTube Premium (formerly YouTube Red) will also be available in Canada, providing members with the benefits of Music Premium, plus ad-free, background and downloads across all of YouTube. YouTube Premium members also get access to the full slate of YouTube Original shows and movies,” all for $11.99 per month after a free three-month trial.
If you already subscribe to Google Play’s streaming service, your free trial has already started. Some 12 countries got a head start on this offer, but now Canada (and the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Norway, Ireland, Finland, Sweden and Russia) are in on the fun.
Jay Fowler tells Music Ally “What we’re trying to do is overcome users’ preconceived notions of what a YouTube experience would be. For example, they’re going to expect it to be video, so that means we need to bias pretty heavily towards audio.”
For those who haven’t fully switched over to a single-oriented listening preference, Fowler says he’s an album consumer. “You’re seeing a lot more albums here,” he says. “If I were a stations listener, I’d see more stations. And so if someone doesn’t watch much video, then video will actually become deprioritized. At the very basic level, we’re using some technology which understands what you do, and what you’re listening to while you’re doing that, and helps to surface the right music for that moment.:
Lyor Cohen, global head of music for YouTube, tells the same publication that artists will get unprecedented analytics on the new platform and provide them with better, more detailed and near-real-time information, throwing the music industry for a loop the same way movie studios were unexpectedly hit in the “contract” days for actors in the 1930s.
“The argument for those contracts is that one act will be successful for nine failures and that one act has to pay for all of the failures, and the costs of capital, and the people, etc etc,” Cohen says. “And since you don’t know which of the ten are going to be the broken act, the very tough contracts that resemble those in the ‘30s [in Hollywood] have to apply to all ten acts… If the batting average could go higher, and the costs of your losses go lower, suddenly the contracts could get — and that’s what’s happening right now —that they don’t have to have these types of contracts that we had one iteration ago.”
He continues: “Data isn’t just to sniff out and help a community identify the hits, but also to identify things that aren’t moving the needle. So helping independents, majors, artists understand how a record is actually working may make them rethink their investment at radio, on video, who knows?”
Clearly YouTube Music is seeking to be a game-changer here. And when Original Variety YouTube launched, it was – how many musicians that we hear all the time now got their start on YouTube, posting videos and hoping their idols and heroes would hear them or wishing simply that people would take an interest in their art?
Get clicking, Canada. See what YouTube Music has to offer and let us know: Are you impressed? Will this change your streaming habits?