You will soon have to pay for YouTube Music Premium to watch music videos, starting with Canada

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It is not known if or when this change will apply to other regions.


Starting next month, YouTube Music will become much more useful for non-paying customers in Canada, as they will be able to stream music in the background, a perk that has so far only been available to paid subscribers. At the same time, YouTube will make other changes to better differentiate its paid and non-paid tiers, including removing support for playing music clips for free subscribers.

Right now, it’s possible to watch music videos in YouTube Music’s home and explore streams even if you’re not paying for the service, with the ability to seamlessly switch between audio playback and video from Now Playing screen limited to Premium subscribers. As of November 3, this will change for YouTube Music users in Canada as the ability to watch music videos will be upgraded to Premium. A global rollout of these changes is also on the horizon, although the exact details are unknown at this point.

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A Google community manager highlighted changes to free and paid YouTube Music levels in Canada in a Ask us anything

Benefits of Free YouTube Music Subscription:

  • listen to music in the background

  • Shuffle play custom mixes (made just for you!)

  • find the perfect mood mixes for activities like training, commuting, and more

  • explore millions of songs and thousands of playlists, for free

Benefits of YouTube Premium:

  • listen to songs on demand

  • watch videos on YouTube Music

  • skip tracks an unlimited number of times

  • enjoy YouTube Music ad-free

You will be able to continue playing the songs on demand that you uploaded to YouTube Music without any restrictions, even if you are on the free tier.

If you’ve never used YouTube Music for watching music videos, you won’t lose much with this change, especially since you get the benefit of playing background music in return.


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