Changes to the YouTube Music free app explained

Changes to the YouTube Music free app explained

YouTube Music background listening

Image Credit: YouTube Music

Are YouTube Premium users being scammed? Here’s exactly what changes are coming to the YouTube Music free app.

A few weeks ago, YouTube announced it was rolling out an update to the YouTube Music free app that would soon see users in Canada playing YouTube Music in the background as they browsed elsewhere on their iPhone, Android or other device.

This sparked a YouTube Music versus YouTube Premium debate, as paying users made it clear they weren’t impressed freemium users might be accessing perks that they have to fork out for.

In response, YouTube Music hastened to clear a few things up.

For those users in Canada who haven’t signed up to YouTube Music Premium, background play on YouTube Music will be audio-only, still with the ads that are part and parcel of using YouTube for free.

What free users won’t be able to do is listen to music without being on shuffle, or turn off those annoying ads. They can’t watch videos on YouTube Music, and there’s a limited number of skips.

Free YouTube Music users will still have unlimited access to the songs they’ve uploaded to the app themselves. They’ll be able to listen to personalised playlists, but only on shuffle, and access mixes tailored to different scenarios like workouts.

You can read YouTube’s full “Ask Me Anything” response here. The changes arrive from November 3rd in Canada initially, and rolling out worldwide thereafter.


Want to release your music on the YouTube Music app, so people around the world can stream your tracks? You should check out RouteNote’s distribution options.

Upload your music for free and keep 85% of revenue, without signing away the rights to your music. Head here to sign up.

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