Spotify and Apple Music have a big bully staring hard at them in the music streaming ring today and its name is YouTube Music. The Google-owned YouTube spinoff, backed by YouTube's long history of being the dominant music streaming service on the Internet for years, officially launched on Thursday.
Released as a free download for Apple iOS and Android devices, YouTube Music hopes to set itself apart from other services such as Spotify and Apple Music by tapping into the video hosting site's over 30-million licensed tracks as well as live performances of songs and fan-created videos.
"With YouTube Music, you'll get a completely new type of experience, designed to make discovering music on YouTube easier than ever," said YouTube's director of music product management T. Jay Fowler in an official blog post. "No matter where you start in the app, the music will never stop."
In conjunction with the recently released YouTube Red, users who pay $9.99 a month will be able to experience YouTube Music ad-free and have the ability to listen to music offline. The premium version can also be played in an audio only mode to avoid downloading videos.
YouTube Music offers "a seamless transition from video to audio," said Manuel Bronstein, a YouTube product manager to USA Today. "If you want to be closer to the artist, you can watch the live performance, but if you're in the car, you can listen to audio."