The goal of YouTube Music is to create a streamlined mobile destination that makes it easy for users to set up their own personal jukebox. “No matter where you start in the app, the music will never stop,” reads a YouTube blog post introducing the app. “Every song you play or artist you choose will take you on an endless journey through YouTube’s music catalog. A simple tap and you’re on your way, enjoying your favorite music and discovering new artists effortlessly. The home tab will recommend tracks just for you and create personalized stations based on your tastes.”‘
YouTube Music was first announced alongside the video site’s new premium service, YouTube Red, and it contains some bonus features for users who purchase a $9.99-per-month Red subscription. Those subscribers will be able to download their favorite music videos, play them back without an active Internet connection, and switch between audio-only and video formats.
The launch of a dedicated music app continues YouTube’s plan to build mobile communities around specific genres. Earlier in 2015, it launched apps centered on two other popular video categories, Kids and Gaming. Music, it should be said, is YouTube’s biggest category of all; the ten videos to reach one billion views on the site are all music videos.
YouTube Music also realizes YouTube’s oft-delayed plans for a dedicated music hub. For years, we heard about a service called YouTube Music Key, which forms the basis of the new app. Will it live up to the hype? We will finally find out.