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YouTube is launching free background listening

The service will be available to Canada first from November 3

  • Aneesa Ahmed
  • 5 October 2021
YouTube is launching free background listening

YouTube has announced that customers will be able to use the platforms background listening function, without needing a premium membership.

Starting on November 3 in Canada, listeners will be able to stream their music while using other apps on their phones or while the screen is off, a feature that has not been made free by the platform before.

This will be supported on ad-supported personalised radio mixes and on any uploaded content added to a user’s account.

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This feature is currently only available to Premium subscribed members- a paid membership where subscribers get benefits such as background listening.

Other features of premium listening include ad-free listening and free offline downloads. These features will still only be available exclusively to premium paying subscribers.

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In their announcement on Twitter, Google Canada said: “Music lovers rejoice! Background listening is coming to the @YouTubeMusic app, and Canada will be the first to enjoy this new feature starting Nov 3! Get radio-like listening with your screen off and don’t stop the music!”

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Free background listening is already available on many of YouTube Music’s competitors, such as Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal.

YouTube or Google have not yet given any other hints as to where this may be expanded to next.

Read this next: "Terrifying" figures show how many streams an artist needs to earn minimum wage

Aneesa Ahmed is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter

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