Whether you’re changing music services to make a political statement or just to try out a new app, youtube music is an often-overlooked option.
Spotify is a popular service, but its handling of Joe Rogan’s dubious and exclusive podcast has sparked controversy. Apple Music, Tidal HiFi, and YouTube Music are all excellent choices for alternative streaming.
If you’re curious about YouTube Music and how it compares to the competition, we’ve compiled all of the essential information you’ll need to get started with the streaming service.
What Plans Are There?
YouTube Music provides a free, ad-supported alternative. Fileproinfo notes in his roundup of the best music streaming services that this tier only works on smartphones when your screen is turned on and the app is open. Although the free option is not ideal for mobile listening, you can use YouTube Music’s browser page to access songs on your desktop or laptop without a subscription.
Because the subscription plans are confusingly named, keep in mind that YouTube Music Premium and YouTube Premium are two separate plans. A YouTube Music Premium subscription grants you access to the entire catalog without ads and allows you to listen to songs even when the app is closed. Individual plans are $10 per month, while student plans are $5 per month. A subscription can be shared with up to five people on the family plan for $15 per month.
However, you should avoid signing up through the mobile app. During our testing of the streaming service, YouTube Music Premium costs $3 more per month for the individual plan if a subscription was started through the iPhone app.
As someone who frequently watches YouTube videos on my phone and smart TV, the slightly higher-priced YouTube Premium is well worth it. In addition to all of the benefits of YouTube Music, you now have the ability to watch YouTube without ads, download videos for offline viewing, and play videos in the background. The individual plan for YouTube Premium is $12 per month, the student plan is $7 per month, and the family plan is $18 per month.
If you have a good experience with YouTube Music Premium or YouTube Premium, you can get a discount on the individual plan if you switch to an annual subscription. The annual YouTube Music Premium subscription costs $100, which is $20 less than the monthly subscription over the same time period. YouTube Premium is $120 per year, which saves you up to $24. Neither of the annual plans renews automatically.
How to Make a User Account
To log in to YouTube Music, you must have a Google account. If you already have a YouTube, Gmail, or Google Docs profile, you can use the same login information for your YouTube Music account.
Anyone who does not already have an account can set up a new one on their computer or smartphone. When creating an account, you do not go to YouTube Music, but rather to Google’s sign-up page. Fill in your name, choose a username and password, and then click Next. You will be asked for a phone number, a recovery email address, your birthday, and your gender.
On the following page, review the Privacy and Terms, customize what data is collected under More options, and click I agree to create a new account. You can now subscribe to whatever YouTube Music plan best suits your listening needs now that you have a Google account.
What about Playlist Import?
Changing from another streaming service to YouTube Music? Then you’ll probably want to bring along all of your carefully curated playlists. Unfortunately, the app does not provide a straightforward method for transferring playlists from a competing service, and a third-party service is useful for keeping everything intact.
Soundiiz is one tool for transferring playlists. Launch your browser and navigate to the website. Click on your music streaming service on the left side of the page and enter your login information to connect accounts. After you’ve connected your accounts, go to Transfer and then Playlists. Select the source from which you want to pull the music and the playlist to which you want to transfer it.
Soundiiz allows you to rename playlists and remove tracks that no longer fit the mood. Finally, select a location for your playlist, and the transfer will begin. You can move one playlist at a time for free, but there is a premium option for people willing to pay around $5 per month for bulk transfers and synchronizations. Unless you have a large library to move, the free transfers are adequate.
How Does YouTube Music Fare Against Other Services?
When comparing individual plan prices, all of the top streaming services are priced similarly. For single accounts, YouTube Music Premium, Spotify Premium, Apple Music, and Tidal HiFi all charge $10 per month.
YouTube Music’s family plan is $1 less expensive than Spotify’s family plan. This could be a small point of savings depending on the size of your family (or friend group). YouTube Music allows for up to five accounts, whereas Spotify allows for six.
During my time with YouTube Music over the last year, the most significant disadvantage was social. Because most of my friends use Spotify, sharing songs and playlists would be easier if we used the same service. Once a year, everyone celebrates data tracking and posts their Spotify Wrapped stats, so be prepared to feel a lot of FOMO.
YouTube Music attempted to create a socially shareable moment to recap 2021, but it received less attention. The situation is similar to the text messaging blue bubbles vs. green bubbles phenomenon.
With that in mind, anyone who watches hours of videos in addition to listening to music may find YouTube Premium to be a delight. I like that my phone and smart TV are linked to the same account. If I listen to an artist on the bus home, then music videos from that artist may be recommended later in the evening while I’m sitting on the couch watching YouTube.
Additional Hints and Tips
- Remember that if you connect your phone and TV to the same account, the search history is shared between devices. When you search for a song on mobile, that search is displayed on the TV in YouTube’s history.
- Always be prepared to listen to your favorite tracks in the app without needing to connect to the internet by going to Library, then Download, and activating your offline mixtape. Choose a playlist length of up to 100 songs, and YouTube Music will keep an updated collection of songs on your phone.
- Each song that receives a “thumbs up” is added to the Your Likes playlist. It’s a great way to save new songs that you come across.
- YouTube Music mixes playlists for you are adequate but not exceptional. Give the mixes a chance, but personally curated song lists are unquestionably the best way to go.
Learn more from Social Media and read How to Manage YouTube Comments: Viewing, Moderating, Replying and More.