YouTube Music App Debuts

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YouTube Music home page

The long-awaited YouTube Music app has made its public debut, combining convenient mobile access for its free service with an effort to up-sell the $10 per month YouTube Red, which makes content available without those pesky ads.

And not a moment too soon. While the Official YouTube Blog post announcing YouTube Music touted a global audience of 1 billion that “has allowed YouTube and Google to pay out over $3 billion to the record industry to date,” the industry clearly feels that hasn’t been enough for on-demand access to tunes, and as several major labels re-negotiate with Google (which owns YouTube), the mood is contentious. A new revenue stream could provide the shot-in-the-arm needed to apportion artists and labels a larger slice of the YouTube streaming pie.

YouTube Music is built first as a video app, but for paying subscribers it will also play in the background as a music app. “No matter where you start in the app, the music will never stop,” wrote YouTube Director of Product Management T. Jay Fowler in his official blog post, promising one tap will “an endless journey through YouTube’s music catalog.” A home tab will recommend tracks and create personalized stations based on listener tastes.

Creating an “offline mixtape” that can save up to 20 songs is another nifty feature for the paid service (which costs $13 per month for those using the iPhone-compatible version of the app). The subscription service, which has earned some good reviews, is available for a two-week free trial.

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