Beyond being a high energy election year, 2019 has got to be the year of music for India. After Spotify launched here a few weeks ago, YouTube has unveiled its music streaming service YouTube Music. Although it launched in the US market last June, the service has just rolled out in India. Besides English and Hindi, YouTube Music offers content in 9 regional languages – Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Kannada, Bhojpuri and Malayalam. In addition to music, YouTube has also launched its YouTube Premium service in India.

YouTube Music: Features

Compared to the competition, YouTube Music does offer some additional features. Among these are live performances, official albums, remixes and covers.

Videos, music and live performance

An edge that YouTube Music claims to have among its competition is the availability of all forms of music at one place. Whether it is videos as we’ve always known YouTube for, or official albums as we’d expect to hear from a music service, YouTube Music will also enable you to follow live music performances.

Recommendations

YouTube offers a detailed mix of playlists that are meant for a wide range of diverse situations as you can think of. From weekend playlists to collections for your daily commute, there are lists to suit every situation you could possibly find yourself in.

Smart search

While there’s a list of artists and music tracks that you could enjoy on YouTube Music, you could also discover these using the all familiar YouTube search. After all, YouTube is a search engine, second only to Google. You can try searching for songs using phrases associated with the song as well as lyrics and you’d find your favorite song eventually.

While queries such as ‘Starbucks lovers’ do lead to Blank Space by Taylor Swift, there are instances such as ‘drive from Mumbai to Goa’ that hit a dead end. It’s when you add Aamir to the query that you’d find some familiar results.

Download for offline viewing

As is the case with any premium service, you get the ability to download tracks as well as Background Play, which works seamlessly well on the iPhone as well. For a better experience, it’s recommended that you use the YouTube app instead of a browser on your smartphone.

SpotifyApple MusicYouTube Music
Price (Monthly/Yearly)Rs 120 monthly/Rs 1189 yearlyRs 120 monthly/Rs 1200 yearlyRs 99 monthly/NA
Student planRs 59 monthlyRs 60 monthlyNA
Family planNARs 190 monthly (6 users)Rs 149 monthly (6 users)
OfflineYesYesYes
PlatformsAndroid, iOS, PC, Mac, Linux, Chromebook, webAndroid, iOS, Mac, Windows (iTunes)Android, iOS, web
VideoNoYesYes
Quality320kbps256kbps256kbps

YouTube Premium

In addition to Music, there’s a vast video content pool with original movies and series available on YouTube Premium. The service starts at Rs 129 per month, and offers an ad-free YouTube experience besides original programming. There’s also a family plan starting at Rs 189 per month, which allows up to 6 members in the same household.

If you are addicted to YouTube and are irritated by the constant ads on videos you watch, then Premium might just be your answer. Given the ad-free experience, plus access to premium original content, YouTube Premium is akin to discovering a whole new side to the world’s most popular video search and discovery engine.

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