Google has announced today that they are launching a free/ ad-supported option to YouTube Music exclusively for users of Assistant powered Speaker and Smart Displays.
Starting today in Australia, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Japan, Netherlands, and Austria you will be able to set YouTube Music free tier as your default music player for Smart Speakers.
Like many free services, YouTube Music’s free tier will not let you select the music you want to play, instead, you’ll be able to ask for a style or mix of music and YouTube will build you a playlist. It’s unclear at this stage if the free service will support features such as song skipping, replay or other common music features.
Google would, of course, like you to use their paid YouTube Music or YouTube Premium services which does give you full control over the entire music library. This move makes complete sense for Google, wither many other music services offering a free tier, Google is missing out on the opportunity of growing future paid users in the future by not offering a free tier as a gateway.
Unfortunately by only offering their service on Assistant smart devices, Google has limited the service so much that it probably won’t be enough to really pull users off the other services. I’m certainly not going to give up my paid YouTube service for this free offering but would you switch to a free YouTube service in preference to another?