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This article was published on October 21, 2021

YouTube Music pisses on free users by going audio only

Oh no

YouTube Music pisses on free users by going audio only
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

YouTube Music is a great alternative to Spotify or Apple Music. Even if you are a paid subscriber to those services, you can use YouTube Music’s ad-supported tier without paying anything.

The company is now making a major change to how you can consume music on the app. Till now, you could either listen to the audio or watch the video of a track — even if you’re on the free tier.

However, starting November 3, YouTube is moving video watching capability to the premium tier. That means if you watch a lot of music videos on the free tier, you will need to pay up.

You can still watch these videos by switching to the YouTube app, and if you hate that, the company wants to capitalize exactly on that. Ugh, corporates.

If you’re a free user, you’ll be able to listen to songs on background, explore songs, and shuffle play playlists. For other stuff such as unlimited skips, music videos, and ad-free experience you’ll need to pay for YouTube Premium (CAD$11.90/$9.50).

YouTube is starting with this new change in Canada with unspecified “global expansion plans.” It may be possible that in price-sensitive markets like India — which is also YouTube’s biggest audience — the company might not roll out this plan.

You can read more about this upcoming change here.

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