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If you want to watch videos on YouTube Music, you’ll have to cough up some cash

The free tier is going audio-only, starting with Canadian users

youtube music logo with blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

YouTube Music recently announced that the ad-supported, free tier would get free background listening starting with Canadian users.

It’s not all good news, however, as video playback is moving to the Premium tier, so you’ll only get audio playback on the ad-supported tier once the change goes into effect.

Yes, if you’re using the ad-supported version of YouTube Music, you’ll have to open the YouTube app to actually watch the associated videos that go along with your songs.

Then again, if you’re listening to YouTube Music in the background while you do other things on your device, do you really need the video?

This has been one of the main selling points of YouTube Premium accounts since it first came out, so its inclusion on the free tier is big news.

Starting on November 3, Canadian users of YouTube Music will see the following changes to the features they can use:

Ad-supported tier:

  • Ability to listen to music in the background
  • Shuffle personalized mixes
  • Search for mood mixes created by YouTube
  • Explore millions of songs and playlists

YouTube Premium:

All of the ad-supported tier features plus the following.

  • Listen to on-demand songs
  • Watch videos in the YouTube Music app
  • Skip tracks without restrictions
  • The ads are gone

This move comes after Apple launched a $4.99 tier of Apple Music that’s only available through Siri-enabled devices.

It certainly looks like the streaming market is trying to differentiate with lower cost, limited versions of their full-price offerings, after years of fighting at the other end of the price bracket with hi-res audio. The real winner? Consumers, who get more options to choose from to individualize their streaming use.

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