October marks the first anniversary of the dying of Google Play Music, leaving solely the sad shadow of a particular music service, YouTube Music, in Google’s ecosystem. YouTube Music is exhibiting merely how far behind the streaming music wars it is with the announcement of a model new operate: background music playback. Beforehand, having pleasant with a streaming monitor on the ad-supported YouTube Music app would solely work for lots of who had the app open—navigating to a minimum of one difficulty else in your cellphone would stop the music. Now, 5 years after the service’s launch and one yr after the shutdown of Google Play Music, you must profit from YouTube Music like—precisely—a music app with out paying for YouTube Premium.

One closing ingredient: this terribly elementary operate is barely rolling out to Canada subsequent month. For now, all people else nonetheless cannot use YouTube Music like a day-after-day streaming music app with out paying for the service. Google says that free background playback will in all probability be accessible in the marketplace to “listeners far and wide on the planet” in the long term, nonetheless it hasn’t talked about when.

SoundCloud and Spotify current free background streaming—as did Google Play Music sooner than it was shut down—nonetheless YouTube Music hasn’t been ready to copy that operate for the earlier 5 years. Subscribers to the $9.99 YouTube Music Premium have been ready to play music contained within the background, and the operate is accessible for music it’s best to have uploaded your self. Nonetheless for lots of who’ve been listening to the ad-supported streaming catalog, the music merely stopped contained within the background.

The free tier of YouTube moreover limits background playback, and YouTube Music’s tangled connection to YouTube is our best guess for why YouTube Music has been so sluggish to undertake this operate. YouTube’s music deal presumably hasn’t allowed for background playback with out paying further, and since music provides are negotiated by nation, it’s intelligent {{{{that a}}}} YouTube Music renegotiation would roll out on a country-by-country basis, with Canada being first.

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