YouTube Music rolls out free, ad-supported service for Google Home users

A free, ad-supported YouTube Music service has been rolled out for Google Home users.

Starting today (April 18), the free service is available on smart speakers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Japan, the Netherlands, and Austria and will be available in more countries soon.

Not only is it for free on Google Home devices, but also on other third-party, Google Assistant-powered speakers, manufactured by the likes of Panasonic, JBL, Sony and others.

To set up YouTube Music as the default music service on Google Home, if you already have a Google Home device, you’ll need to navigate to Account Settings in your Google Home app, tap Services and select Music. Then, select YouTube Music as the default music service.

If you are setting up a new Google Home speaker, choose YouTube Music as the default music service during the setup process.

“This announcement is just one example of the deepening integration between YouTube Music and Google Assistant-enabled hardware.”

Susan Cadrecha, YouTube

Susan Cadrecha, head of PR for YouTube in the UK said: “We’re delighted to offer a free version of YouTube Music to those with Google Home speakers – helping them discover new music based on their tastes and what’s moving the community around them.

“This announcement is just one example of the deepening integration between YouTube Music and Google Assistant-enabled hardware, and is testament to how our products are becoming ever more helpful over time”

The news of the free, ad-supported YouTube Music service for Google Home devices follows last Friday’s news (April 12), as first reported by Billboard, that online retail giant Amazon was planning to launch a free, ad supported music streaming service marketed through its Echo smart devices.

Speaking to MBW this week, high-level music industry sources revealed that the launch of Amazon’s freemium Spotify rival is “imminent” in the United States.

There are key similarities between the arrival of the ad-supported Amazon Music service and the free YouTube Music service on Google Home, namely that both services promise to create a new freemium ‘funnel’ for millions of customers, which both companies can then target with an up-sell into their premium tiers.

A report by CIRP from February suggested there were 66m smart speakers in homes across the United States, with Amazon’s Echo claiming a 70% market share and Google 24%.

Upgrading to the ad-free, £9.99/month YouTube Music Premium allows ‘background play’ music through the YouTube Music app while using other apps, and offline listening.

YouTube Music Premium also adds the ability to request specific albums, songs, artists, and playlists on-demand in addition to unlimited skips and song replay.

New Amazon Echo speaker owners can currently choose between two first-party music service ‘tiers’. Amazon Prime members get access to a limited music catalog via Amazon Prime Music; alternatively, Echo owners can pay $3.99 per month for access to Amazon Music Unlimited on their Echo speaker, or $9.99 per month for the full Amazon Music Unlimited platform on any device. ($7.99 for Prime members).Music Business Worldwide

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