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Should you sign up for YouTube Music? We break down the details

Back in the 90s, we used to collect cassettes and CDs by the albums. Downloading music is even passe now because the future lies in streaming. We have better ways of utilising our storage space, thank you very much. Mid-last year, Google announced YouTube Music, their streaming platform that’s set to take Spotify’s crown. In case you missed it, YouTube Music is now available in Malaysia.

What sets YouTube Music apart from its competitors is the access to a catalogue with remixes, live concerts, song covers, and music videos that the others might not have. When you’re on the app, you can also easily toggle between listening to the song and watching the music video for the track.

youtube music
Switch between a song and its music video in one app. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

There are two tiers of YouTube Music, Basic and Premium. As with any other freemium service, the basic tier has advertisements interspersed between songs. Playback is also restricted to the app only, meaning that your music will pause when you leave the app or lock your phone. Your music will also be streamed in a lower quality.

The premium version gets rid of all those restrictions from just RM17.90 a month. Plus, you can download your music for offline streaming (super handy on flights or where mobile data is weak)

You must now be thinking: Why should I sign up for another streaming service? Here, we help you break down some reasons as to why you should or shouldn’t subscribe to YouTube Music

Reasons to subscribe to YouTube Music

If you already spend a couple of hours each day binging random YouTube videos that get recommended to you, maybe you could give YouTube Music a shot – they’re offering a free 1-month trial for the premium version.

Or maybe you love watching music videos, preferring to appreciate music through two dimensions rather than one. The wide variety of music videos available on the platform is staggering. They even have a chart tracking the popularity of music videos in each country so you can have a feel of what’s on the local beat.

youtube music
See which music videos are trending in your country. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

Reasons to not subscribe to YouTube Music

We get it, migrating your entire music library to another platform is a daunting task. Plus, if you’re just listening to music, Spotify and Apple Music do pretty well on their own. YouTube Music hasn’t disclosed exactly how big its library is, although we’re guessing it’s close to Spotify’s 35 million and Apple’s 50 million.

Spotify has also been deeply integrated into Samsung devices since the start of the year. Not only is the app pre-installed on its flagship phones, but playback is also seamless across all the Samsung devices in your home.

youtube music
Support local talent. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

So… should you?

The only people we can see subscribing to YouTube Music are those already on Android and have access to the Google Play Store. There’s no convincing reason as to why iPhone users should pay more, and they shouldn’t.

Until Google and YouTube refine their service to make it more accessible to people outside their ecosystem, we’d stick to our current subscriptions for now.

For more information, visit youtube.com.

This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.

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