by DOM GALEON
For the past several years now, my go-to music streaming app has been Spotify. I was fortunate enough to have gotten a monthly plan that covers my siblings and me for only P194. That put Apple Music out of the question. Then came YouTube music, which Google launched silently late last year.
It took me months of ignoring the ads that pop up on my regular YouTube app before I finally decided to give this new music app a chance. And I didn’t regret it. YouTube music has made me rethink my Spotify subscription.
Although there really isn’t anything special about it, YouTube’s music streaming service has everything your Spotify has and more. For starters, the user interface (UI) looks very much like Spotify’s, which is kind of a bummer because they could’ve done something different but it’s also okay because it means navigating it won’t be too difficult. Even the icons for playlists and albums look like Spotify’s.
Where YouTube Music gets one over Spotify is in its available content. Apart from the usual assortment of music and albums, what I found really interesting is how anything that is available on YouTube is available on YouTube Music. This means that concerts uploaded on the video service website can be accessed on its music streaming app. It’s a welcome feature for anyone who is into watching concerts or listening to concert versions of songs, which aren’t always available on Spotify. Virtually anything that has music in it can be streamed on YouTube Music.
Other regular features include song recommendations listed via artificial intelligence (AI), which includes suggested playlists, artists, and live performances, which you can view with video on or just audio. All these are accessible via the Home tab, one of the three tabs on the app’s navigation bar at the bottom. The other two tabs are the Hotlist, which is a listing of trending videos and songs; and Library, which leads to your personalized page. Like Spotify, you can also download audio for offline listening.
YouTube Music is currently available in the Philippines on a number of packages. There’s an individual plan that costs P129 on Android and P169 on iOS. There is also a YouTube Premium plan, which allows for background play and video downloads, that includes YouTube Music Premium for P159 on Android and P209 on iOS. A family plan, good for up to five users (ages 13 and above), for P309. Spotify’s family plan is still considerably cheaper, however, with nearly half the cost of YouTube Music’s. But if you’re the type who wants to consider all options out there, I guess I wouldn’t hurt to have two music streaming services on your phone. Or three, if you’re an iPhone user and you’re still giving Apple Music a chance. No judgment.