Is YouTube Music Free? A Complete Guide

The music streaming landscape in the USA is packed with various platforms vying for listeners’ attention. Among these platforms, YouTube Music is a major player. Many users, however, are unclear about whether YouTube Music is free or if there are costs associated with its use. This post aims to provide a comprehensive guide to clarify this common question: Is YouTube Music free?

What is YouTube Music?

Let’s start with the basics. Launched in 2015, YouTube Music is a music streaming service developed by YouTube, a subsidiary of Google. It offers a tailored interface for service-oriented towards music streaming, allowing users to browse through songs and music videos on YouTube based on genres, playlists, and recommendations.

YouTube Music primarily competes with Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music, but its unique selling proposition lies in its vast library of tracks including official albums, singles, remixes, live performances, covers, and music videos, many of which are not available on other platforms.

YouTube Music: Free vs. Premium

YouTube Music offers two main tiers: Free and Premium.

YouTube Music Free

Yes, YouTube Music is indeed free if you opt for the basic, ad-supported version. It offers access to its vast library of music, but with some limitations. Here’s what you get with the free version of YouTube Music:

  1. Unlimited listening: Listen to countless songs, playlists, and music videos.
  2. Ads-supported: To support the free version, ads will play during your music listening experience.
  3. Music Videos: Unlike most other music streaming services, YouTube Music free allows you to watch music videos.
  4. Background playback and downloads are not available: You can’t download songs for offline listening, and if you navigate away from the app or lock your screen, the music will stop playing.

YouTube Music Premium

For users who want a bit more from their streaming experience, YouTube Music Premium is available at $9.99 per month. The Premium tier brings several advantages over the free version:

  1. Ad-free listening: No interruptions from advertisements.
  2. Background playback: You can navigate away from the app or lock your screen without the music stopping.
  3. Downloads: Premium users can download music to their devices for offline listening.
  4. YouTube Originals: Access to YouTube’s original programming.

Student Plan and Family Plan

Aside from the individual plans, YouTube Music also offers a Student Plan and a Family Plan:

  • Student Plan: Eligible university and college students can enjoy all the benefits of YouTube Music Premium for $4.99 per month, which is a 50% discount off the standard price.
  • Family Plan: Up to 6 family members (ages 13+) living in the same household can enjoy YouTube Music Premium for $14.99 per month.

Is YouTube Music Free Worth It?

Whether the free version of YouTube Music is worth it depends on your personal preferences and tolerances. If you don’t mind listening to ads, and you typically listen to music while directly interacting with your device, then YouTube Music Free could serve you well. It offers a wide selection of music and the unique addition of music videos that can enhance your music-listening experience.

However, if you prefer ad-free listening, the ability to play music in the background, or if you want to download music for offline listening, then YouTube Music Premium would be a better option.

Is YouTube Music Free
Is YouTube Music Free


Can I access YouTube Music on all my devices?

Yes, YouTube Music is available on a wide range of devices. You can access it via web browsers on your computer, and there are also apps available for Android and iOS devices. If you have a YouTube Music Premium account, you can also use it on Google Home or Google Nest devices.

Can I listen to music offline with YouTube Music Free?

No, offline listening is not available on the free version of YouTube Music. To listen to music offline, you need to upgrade to YouTube Music Premium, which allows you to download music to your device.

If I have a YouTube Premium subscription, do I get access to YouTube Music Premium?

Yes, a YouTube Premium subscription includes access to YouTube Music Premium. That means you can enjoy ad-free videos on YouTube, download videos for offline viewing, and also enjoy the benefits of YouTube Music Premium: ad-free music, background listening, and the ability to download music for offline listening.

In Conclusion

So, is YouTube Music free? Yes, but with some limitations. The free version of YouTube Music gives you access to a vast library of music and music videos but includes ads and doesn’t support background listening or music downloads.

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