Google’s new music video app, YouTube Music, is officially here. The Android and iOS app autoplays music videos on an infinite playlist, and is designed to compete with music label-affiliated Vevo (which shows its videos on YouTube), as well as with Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music.
In a blog post, YouTube’s Director of Product Management T. Jay Fowler said the app gives “complete access to one of the richest music catalogs on earth. You’ll be able to quickly find music videos, tracks, artists, and albums, but you’ll also see all the remixes, covers, lyric videos, and concert footage that YouTube has to offer.”
Fast Company first reported on YouTube’s music service earlier this year. The new app very much ties into YouTube’s new pay subscription service YouTube Red. By paying for YouTube Red, customers can skip commercials in their music feed and play audio from songs while the video on their screens is turned off.
Unlike its Music Insights analytics tool for artists which came out just after Pandora acquired data analytics service Next Big Sound, Google’s YouTube Music directly cannibalizes another paid Google product. Google Play Music offers a very similar all-you-can-eat music streaming product.
The big question Google will face over the next year is whether or not YouTube has a specific audience that justifies launching a competing product…and if using YouTube’s archives, with all their attendant legal and logistical challenges, for streaming music is a smarter alternative than the Google Play store infrastructure.