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YouTube Music Review: Is YouTube Music Premium Worth It (2022)

In October 2020, Google Play Music was phased out in favor of YouTube Music Premium for existing members. This service is missing a specialized desktop program for Mac or a specialized desktop program for PC and high-resolution streaming.

Despite this, YouTube Music Premium may be the ideal second streamer for those irritated by the 70 million-song collection that most streaming services have in common, and it also has a few benefits unavailable elsewhere. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

What is YouTube Music?

A competitor to SiriusXM, Apple Music, and Tidal, YouTube Music offers ad-free music streaming. Streaming service Google Play Music has legally been replaced by YouTube Music Premium.

In addition to audio files, this software has a vast collection of real and unauthorized music videos. Once upon a time, when you subscribed through YouTube Music to an artist’s channel, you were instantly subscribed to the artist’s normal channel. As a result of this change, YouTube Music subscriptions are no longer included in it but are now independent. As is typical of Google’s many overlapping apps, it’s a bit of a mess.

YouTube Music Premium lets you download material and listen to it from any location, preventing you from exceeding your data limit.

Several services allow you to download music without using all of your bandwidth. If you’re on a restricted data plan, this is a lifesaver. It just takes a few minutes. Sonos intelligent speakers also provide direct access to YouTube Music.

youtube music

YouTube Music Premium

Most of this app’s membership advantages are as unique as they seem if you routinely view YouTube. To begin, it is difficult to overstate how wonderful the ad-free experience is unless you have experienced it. Many of us use ad blockers on our computers, but adverts on mobile are It is considerably more challenging to avoid. And, to be honest, they pay for the stuff you view, so it’s good to be able to prevent them without negatively impacting the producers.

With the addition of double pre-roll and unskippable commercials, YouTube Premium’s ad-free experience is almost a need for anybody who spends substantial time on the site. If you also enjoy reading the lyrics of your favorite song, YouTube Music Premium allows you to do so. Not only that, but you can also look for “minus one” and sing the lyrics.

It’s also a lot more enjoyable to see your favorite artists on the giant screen of your TV while casting or using the smart TV app without repeated interruptions. The Premium experience is entirely ad-free, with no teasers for originals or anything else.

However, regarding producers, YouTube Premium offers another significant benefit that is often overlooked: income sharing. A Premium membership helps the vloggers you love by sharing a piece of the money generated by each view from a subscriber. This allegedly covers demonetized movies as well.

But the excellent stuff doesn’t stop there. To say the least, the access to YouTube Music that comes with your membership is underappreciated. The app offers a massive music collection. I was able to locate any obscure music I could think of. Even though some music videos weren’t available as music files, I could still listen to them when my screen was locked.

Even the most seasoned music enthusiast would be pleased by the range of genres and musicians. For some, a YouTube Premium membership could be worth just for the music. It costs just $2 extra per month than Spotify Premium and has additional benefits.

youtube music premium

How to use YouTube Music

The owner’s experience on desktop and mobile devices is almost identical. In addition to the usual favorites, suggestions, news, and moods, the home page gives a list of the most popular categories. Search for an artist or song, check out a video hotlist, and explore your collection are all choices from here.

If you’re watching a music video, you may select “song” at the top of the screen to listen simply to the audio. As a result, instead of only displaying the music video’s soundtrack, you’ll be able to hear it. Using this method, you may remove any unnecessary speech from a music video that is not available in the album cut.

The three vertical dots in the playback control module may be used to construct a playlist. In addition to downloading and adding to playlists, you can start the radio and more by clicking on this option. Title the playlist and decide whether it’s public, private, or unlisted. As a reminder, when you make a playlist on YouTube, it also generates a playlist on your account. As with the artist subscription overlap issue, we can only hope that they will address this issue in the future.

youtube music review
Photo by Nubelson Fernandes on Unsplash

Does YouTube Music allow for collaborative playlists?

Yes! You can now make a playlist on YouTube Music and share it with your friends. At this point, the playlist is open to you both. The social side of YouTube is something Spotify has had for a long time, but it’s nice to see that they are focusing on it.

Audio changes are more limited than on other streaming sites. However, the sound standard settings on your phone determine whether or not you may use the EQ feature. Dolby Atmos may be toggled on and off, and a few questionable EQ settings are available on the Samsung Galaxy S10e. For YouTube Music, you can’t truly build your own custom equalizer. However, it has recently been included on YouTube Music’s support page with real evidence of the sound quality. There are many options to pick from:

  • Low: 48kbps AAC (uses the least data)
  • Normal: 128kbps AAC (default settings)
  • High: 256kbps AAC (HQ setting)
  • Always high: 256 kbps AAC (maintains this even when the connection is poor)

This is the official YouTube Music quality, even if you’re using a Wi-Fi connection. Lossless formats like FLAC or at least a higher bitrate are only supported by a few services like Tidal, Deezer, Amazon Music Unlimited, and others. In an AMA, a Google employee revealed that YouTube Music has no plans to broadcast FLAC at bitrates higher than 256 kbps since doing so would be too expensive. While SoundGuys will be disappointed, picking “high” audio quality should suffice if all you want to do is listen to music.

Don’t have unlimited data? Download over Wi-Fi and listen anywhere

You may download a music video or music library by touching the three vertical circles and choosing download from the pull-up menu. If your phone allows a microSD card, it is an option if you’re planning to download music videos.

Even if you don’t have a lot of data, you may take further measures to avoid streaming. Select the cog icon labeled “settings” on the homepage by tapping your profile avatar and selecting the cog symbol. Then select only Wi-Fi streaming from the drop-down menu. Mobile data and network settings may also be adjusted from this page.

youtube music review
Photo by Alphacolor on Unsplash

How does the YouTube Music Premium subscription work?

Whether you’re signing up for an individual or family plan, YouTube Music Premium costs $9.99 per month or $4.99 per month. Your Google account will be debited, regardless of the method you choose. Using YouTube Music Premium on up to 10 mobile devices is permitted. You are not allowed to open any devices older than that. There is a yearly limit of four instruments, presumably to prevent you from sharing your account with many people simultaneously.

What’s the difference between YouTube Music and Premium?

The benefits of the first vs. the second are different. YouTube Music is a part of YouTube Premium, just as a square comes under a rectangle’s canopy.

In addition to playlists, live performances, music videos, and remixes, YouTube Music Premium freely allows you open remixes. As you “thumbs up/down” tracks, YouTube’s discovery algorithm improves your chances of finding new music. Free, ad-enabled songs don’t allow you to download or play music when your phone is locked.

YouTube Red is back, right? This has been renamed YouTube Premium. What a mess, am I right? When comparing YouTube Premium to YouTube Music Premium, it’s clear that the latter offers a broader range of streaming options. All videos, not only those about music, are ad-free. With YouTube Music Premium, you can save any video to your device, but with the free version, you can only save tracks and music videos. Because of background play, you no longer have to be in the YouTube app to continue watching. To quit the app, a little window appears in the upper right corner of your device’s screen, allowing you to continue using the app.

It costs $11.99/mo for YouTube Premium (or $6.99/mo for students). If you watch many videos on YouTube, it’s well worth the $2/month to upgrade to YouTube Premium. Of course, the ad-supported version of YouTube is still available.

Also, don’t make the mistake of conflating YouTube TV with YouTube Premium. As with a regular provider, you may watch live TV on the former.

How to get a YouTube Music Premium family plan?

There isn’t a separate YouTube Music Premium family package, at least not in the technical sense. You’ll need a YouTube Premium family package if you wish to stream with your loved ones. For $17.99 each month, you may add five members, such as your mother, father, brothers, and sisters. 

youtube music premium
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How does YouTube Music pay artists?

It’s no secret that YouTube has a history of underpaying its producers, and this unfortunate pattern continues with YouTube Music. You’ll run across this problem no matter which streaming service you choose; it’s a universal problem. YouTube Music, on the other hand, comes in last place compared to the rest of the field.

Of course, if you want to show your support for your favorite artists, you may buy their CDs, attend their concerts, and purchase their stuff. Streaming a song here and there won’t bring in as much money for the band as any previous alternatives.

The compensation per stream has been estimated by the music industry’s Digital Music News and blog The Trichordist. YouTube Red was the forerunner to YouTube Premium, which is why it isn’t available here.

Based on a variety of factors, YouTube Music rewards artists for their work, such as:

-Number of streams

-Advertising revenue

-Subscription revenue

YouTube Music has a worldwide audience, meaning musicians may make money from fans throughout the globe.

With YouTube’s “Artist on the Rise” initiative, artists may also earn money from the advertising income produced by their videos.

youtube music premium review
Photo by rakhmat suwandi on Unsplash

YouTube Music Specs

The audio of YouTube Music has improved recently. In fact, its bitrate has increased from 128 kbps to 256 kbps in its first year.

Audio quality information may be found on YouTube’s Help page even if you aren’t using the site or mobile applications for YouTube Music. But this level of knowledge is only available to Premium members.

However, even if the sound quality has increased, it’s still not quite boomy. There is something odd about the streaming service’s ability to isolate specific instruments. No matter how hard we try, it’s impossible to understand Beck’s Loser, which has a problematic sitar solo.

If you’re playing some music online, you’ll notice that the bitrate decreases. You don’t have to be a rock star to enjoy a good set of headphones and be transported to the world of pounding drums, sultry melodies, and hard-rocking guitars.

However, Hi-Res Audio is not accessible. Apple Music, Qobuz, and Tidal provide master-quality sound for audiophiles with more sophisticated hearing. Due to their muddy instrumentals and closed-in sound, Low and Normal were both unsuitable for use in music.

However, when we switched from Low to High mode, we saw an improvement in performance. This time, the music had a greater feeling of openness and depth. Low and high frequencies were more muted, but the voices were more focused.

Since it is not as compressed as some key rivals, YouTube Music does not have the same sound quality. If you’ve heard the artist’s album a million times, you can’t help but be disappointed at how little progress it seems to make as you recall it. When you test it on its competitors, it becomes clear.

youtube music review
Photo by Szabo Viktor on Unsplash

Data-Driven Recommendations

In 2020, more than 60 million songs will be available on YouTube Music. According to YouTube’s chief product officer, in February 2021, 70 million officially licensed songs were on the site. That’s a lot. Thus, Apple Music, Tidal, and Deezer are all in the same category as streaming services.

It was a team effort between Universal, Sony, and Warner Music Group (VEVO). For the first time, you’ll be able to see the official music videos for some of your favorite chart-topping songs directly from the app.

Most of Youtube Music’s collections are available to open via the Explore option on the app’s home screen. New releases, chart positions, moods, and genres are all listed in their own areas on Youtube Music.

It’s also a plus that this software extensively uses user-generated material. With YouTube Music, it’s easy to identify and listen to the many brilliant, unsigned musicians that broadcast their music on their own channels.

Owners may utilize the Data-Driven Recommendations tool to find material similar to what they have already seen. Based on an owner’s prior listening patterns, this function may propose new songs, artists, or genres of music to them. Regarding providing suggestions, the Data-Driven Recommendations algorithm is continually learning and improving.

The Data-Driven Recommendations feature relies on data from past owners’ interactions with the site to make recommendations for similar content.

youtube music pricing plans

YouTube Music’s Plans

YouTube Music may affect internet music streaming for the first time. Many streaming music businesses compete for your attention. The YouTube Music service mixes legitimate studio releases with user-uploaded material.

Even if you already use Spotify or Tidal, you’ll appreciate this streaming service. YouTube Music keeps up with the competition, and YouTube Premium subscribers get a complete entertainment package. Free with advertising between tracks.

A $9.99/mo YouTube Music Premium removes advertisements and allows you to download songs that you can play offline with one owner. The subscription includes an offline mixtape based on your listening habits for $99/month. $4.99/month for students. There’s also Family Plan for up to six accounts at $14.99/mo. YouTube Premium subscribers also receive YouTube Music Premium, giving them a complete entertainment package.

Similar Products

Here are some of the similar products of Youtube Music:

apple music

Apple Music

Apple’s music streaming service, Apple Music, is a subscription service. Users can listen to already bought stream music at their leisure. Apple Music One, Apple Music Hits, and Apple Music Country are all live radio channels that can be streamed in over 200 countries around the clock.

There are almost 90 million songs available on Apple Music, and some are accompanied by music videos. There are more than 5 million musicians from all around the globe that you may listen to.

There are now 167 countries where Apple Music is offered on Apple’s mobile platforms. Those who have android phones may get a free copy of Apple Music through the Google Play Store. Control your music by speaking into a device like Google Home, Apple’s Siri, or Amazon’s Echo Dot. You may also use a Chromecast-enabled TV or Speaker to play your music. Samsung’s TVs can now download Apple Music, as well.

Apple devices come pre-loaded with the app, which can be downloaded for free. Some of Apple’s Radio Stations are free on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, but not on any other Apple device. Subscriptions are required to use the service in its entirety. As a new customer, you’ll experience a three-month free trial.

Although time-synced lyrics were added to Apple Music in 2019, this feature isn’t available for all tracks. You’ll need an Apple ID to sign up for a subscription through the Apple Music app.

pandora

Pandora

To make a premium music service that would establish a new bar for what a music service might be, we realized it had to be personal, intelligently designed, and take the hassle out of maintaining your world of music.

The Music Genome Project and the vast amount of data we have from 81 million listeners like you — things like station additions, thumbs (we have over 75 billion! ), searches, and skips—were two of our key strengths in this endeavor.

You can type for your favorite artist or album, as well as a set of playlist features suited to your tastes. For only $9.99 a month, you can have a personalized experience that’s simple to use and jam-packed with helpful features.

iHeart radio

iHeartRadio

Spend time with the people you care about as you listen to your favorite music. You can listen to unlimited music, hundreds of radio stations, and podcasts with just one app. As a bonus, iHeartRadio is still completely free to use.

Hear free, on-the-air broadcast on AM and FM radio from all around the world.  This app includes breaking news, sports, music, comedy, and talk radio. Find sports stations like ESPN, Fox, and FNTSY where celebrities debate sports and the arts.

The app has tens of thousands of playlists split by moods, activities, decades, and musical genres to help you choose the perfect song. ‘Your Weekly Mixtape’ is updated every Monday, so don’t miss out! Based on the songs you like and are now playing to, we’ve just created this playlist for you. 

Your favorite performers may be utilized to build custom music stations from our millions of tracks. You may construct a station from your favorite genres and subgenres. Favorites Radio lets you build a station with your favorite songs.

siriusXM satellite radio

SiriusXM Internet Radio

At the time, several experts projected that the advent of satellite radio services like Sirius and XM would spell the end of traditional radio. It was a little premature to make such a prognosis. Finally, Sirius and XM had to combine to ensure the survival of both firms.

The corporation was on the verge of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy eleven months after the merger. Liberty Media provided SiriusXM with a $530 million loan in February 2009. SiriusXM is still going strong and is popular with niche listeners who like to avoid commercials.

A deeper look at SiriusXM’s three most important benefits for its devoted listeners:

  1. Listen to your favorite current songs while driving around town by tuning into the local radio station. Changing between different broadcast frequencies will take a lot of time if you’re traveling a lengthy journey. This involves a lot of guessing as you attempt to pick a station comparable with the one you prefer at home. Thanks to satellites in orbit, you may listen to Sirius XM wherever you go without having to continually change the radio dial.
  1. Commercial-free: TV and radio both have advertising. Commercials annoy the vast majority of viewers and listeners. Whether it’s the droning of their favorite artists or the continual droning of political punditry, most people simply want to hear what they want. There is no advertising on most SiriusXM channels since the service is subscription-based. They say this is one of the finest things about SiriusXM.
tidal

Tidal

More than 60 million songs, 244,000 videos, tens of thousands of playlists, and hundreds of live events are available to Tidal subscribers. Those who use Microsoft’s apps may choose between a $9.99/month Premium membership or a $19.99/month HiFi membership. In addition to unlimited, ad-free listening, HiFi subscribers enjoy high-fidelity, lossless sound quality — just as the composers intended.

Unlike other music streaming services, Tidal allows its users to communicate directly with the musicians they love. Since last year, members have been able to attend exclusive parties, events, and live-streamed performances with artists such as deadmau5 and Jack White. The experienced editorial staff carefully curates playlists for each situation, whether it’s a workout, a party, or simply listening to your favorite musicians repeatedly.

A new playlist demonstrating the growth, inspiration, and samples that went into each release will be available to subscribers weekly. Tidal’s original programming, podcasts, and playlists are scheduled to coincide with the most important social and pop cultural events.

You may also want to take a look at our Tidal vs Youtube Music comparison article.

google play music

Google Play Music

With Google Play Music, you can listen to whatever music you want, whenever you want it—whether you’re working, exercising, or dancing—and get personalized radio stations to enhance your experience. Each station is individually crafted by our team of music professionals, including the people behind Songza, so you don’t have to. Search for your favorite artist, playlist, or song to build a station with music that is close to what you’re looking for. This is a greater option if you don’t know precisely what you want.

Ideally, you’ll be pleased enough with it to consider a Google Play Music subscription, which will allow for ad-free music playback, music that can be played offline, the ability to make your own playlists, and unlimited use to all 30 million songs in our catalog across all your devices. You can also experience ad-free, offline, and background viewing options for music videos on YouTube. It’s also free to save and play up to 50,000 songs from your own library.

amazon music unlimited

Amazon Music Unlimited

It’s both a music streaming service and an online music retailer. ‘Amazon MP3’ was the first version of Amazon Music available to the general public on September 25, 2007. Prime membership is an additional service at no extra cost.

Prime subscribers get access to over 2 million tracks. More than 10,000 ad-free radio stations and popular playlists may be found here. Subscribers may also enjoy unlimited skips when listening offline. According to the business, Amazon Music HD will be released on September 17, 2019.

This new level of lossless quality music with over 50 million HD tracks. There are also millions of tracks in Ultra HD with the highest-quality audio streaming accessible.

The success of Amazon Music is impressive in and of itself. The streaming platform is bolstered by its enormous market capital. 55 million paying customers account for 40% of Spotify’s ever-expanding user base.

Revenue from Amazon Music Unlimited on the iOS platform was $50 million. That is expected to expand at a rate of 572 percent year-over-year. Audiophiles may experience lossless music from Amazon, Tidal, and Qubuz.

deezer

Deezer

Deezer has been around for an eternity, but if you haven’t checked out the music streaming service recently, you should do so in 2022.

The streaming service is a solid rival to Tidal and SiriusXM because it supports high-quality music streaming and spatial audio formats when it comes to music streaming.

As a result, look no further than Deezer if you’re looking for a music streaming service that offers a wide variety of genres, great sound standards, and a lot of content.

It has a clean, simple design that is also visually appealing and easy to use. In contrast, other streaming services may give better free plans or better-curated library for music discovery.

amazon prime music

Amazon Music Prime

MIDiA says Amazon is the underdog in streaming music.  Since 2016, we’ve seen Amazon’s growth rise every quarter. Amazon Music has surpassed Spotify due to its large base of free subscribers and Amazon has the most loyal consumers.

Amazon’s success isn’t restricted to everyone and it’s gaining subscribers. According to copyright holders and industry authorities, Amazon is the third-largest subscription company. Amazon Music has 16 million users (i.e., Amazon Prime Music users and Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers). It has a 12.5% stake in the global music streaming business, more than QQ Music and Deezer combined.

Amazon’s achievement is greater. The US, Japan, Germany, and the UK use Amazon’s music streaming. 35% of Amazon Prime members in these locations use Prime Music. Most music subscription services target smartphone users with data plans or iTunes account holders. Both need subscribers to become paying users. 40 million Prime subscribers must use Amazon’s music app.

Widespread Amazon Prime Music advertisements. Existing Prime members are enticed to use the music app for free, without purchase or commitment. 

spotify

Spotify

This app is a subscription-based digital audio platform that allows easy use to stream music, podcasts, and audiobooks from across the world.

It operates on a freemium business model, which offers both free and paid features. The premium features of Spotify can’t be opened with a free, basic account. You may also upgrade your account to a premium one in order to have access to more features and benefits.

Spotify’s declared mission is to provide “a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their work and billions of music fans the capacity to enjoy and be inspired by it,” according to the music streaming company. This statement isn’t too far off, given the app’s tremendous reach.

The YouTube Music Listening Experience

It’s interesting to note that the streaming service has holes. Depending on your point of view, Youtube Music’s biggest strength—or weakness—is how strongly it leans on the video-sharing portion of the site. In order to distinguish music from other forms of media, an algorithm is used.

There is a startling quantity of non-musical content on the site, whether it’s due to a glitch in the algorithm or anything else. It’s because of this that the app allows owners to open non-musical content such as podcasts and audiobooks. Unofficial YouTube Music uploads aren’t very unique, but they do bring a lot of diversity to their library of music.

Here’s a quick Youtube Music Review that’ll help you decide if it’s worth it or not:

Is YouTube Music Premium worth the money?

YouTube Music has taken a giant step forward, and we have little doubt that it will be much better when Google shuts down Play Music.

The search function is excellent, and the user interface is good. Even more impressive is YouTube Music’s capacity to unearth long-forgotten musical treasures from its video library. It’s worth a try for those reasons alone.

Another step up in audio and a music library that rivals the other major brands nearly track for the track is what we’d like to see here.

We’re here to listen, after all. While it’s great that YouTube Music can track down a live recording of your favorite album at a specific location on a particular day, the studio version you’ve grown to love is missing.

What do you think?

Written by Stephanne Alfaro

Stephanne Alfaro is a writer with a heart for R&B and Soul music. She appreciates underrated yet beautiful songs from independent artists and supports local artists through writing.

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