Last week we saw that Canadian residents will be able to background stream music on the free YouTube Music tier. Now we’re seeing further changes with free tier customers (again in Canada) losing the ability to watch videos.

This change brings the YouTube Music tier structure much closer to that of Spotify. This isn’t the only change, with details outlined in a Google Support thread including:

Those who listen to music free with ads will now be able to

  • listen to music in the background
  • shuffle play personalized mixes (that are made just for you!)
  • find the perfect mood mixes for activities like workout, commute and more
  • explore millions of songs & thousands of playlists, free of cost

Those who pay for a YouTube Premium subscription will be able to enjoy additional exclusive benefits, like the ability to

  • listen to songs on-demand
  • watch videos on YouTube Music
  • skip tracks an unlimited number of times
  • enjoy YouTube Music without ads

The change also aligns with Apples “voice only” plan announcement from its release event just a couple of days ago. Clearly, the streaming music market is a space that’s hyper-competitive currently and Google doesn’t want to be left behind. There are no immediate plans to expand these changes globally, but we’ll keep our ears to the ground for the potential.

What features would you like to see introduced to YouTube Music?

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Now they just have to fix up the catalog of music. No official Jimi Hendrix albums/songs for example.