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YouTube Music, a new music streaming service, is coming soon (googleblog.com)
229 points by ac29 4 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 318 comments



YouTube is the only service I've used that gets WORSE if you pay.

Without paying I can watch one video on my TV while browsing other videos on my laptop to queue up.

With paying as soon as look up a video on my laptop I get an error on the tv "only one device allowed"


They are following in the footsteps of the movie industry, which also provides worse experience to the paying customer.

Pay for movie theater ticket, get served 30+ minutes of ads. (edit) Pay for DVD, get unskippable "antipiracy ads". Torrent the movie, and you'll be watching the movie in under 3 minutes of download.


That's also if they provide any experience at all. You know, "not available in your region" is what a paying non-US non-EU customer should expect to occasionally see. Worse: even if there was something in "your" library last week, you can't expect it to be there tomorrow.

If you're non-paying customer, with some services, you may get around with a VPN. If you're paying for the service - virtually everyone uses your billing address, so you're paying to have access denied.

Just had that experience with GPM recently (other services are no better)


> Pay for movie theater ticket, get served 30+ minutes of ads.

In Thailand, there is (was?) a 5-minute-long (literally) memorial video dedicated to King Rama IX before every movie. Everyone in the theatre is expected to stand for the video's entirety - after the 30 minutes of ads and trailers.


I like the memorial video and don't mind standing for it at all. Altough it would be a nice touch if they put subtitles on it.


Chiming in real quick. Why the downvote HN? Let a guy have his preferences (:


I don't know for sure why the downvote, but maybe because Thailand is a place where you can be imprisoned or exiled for criticizing the (late) king. It's not hard to imagine somebody on HN might not be cool with somebody supporting that sort of enforced devotion.


Just to clarify, you can also be imprisoned for criticizing the current King, as well as any of the late Kings at all.


The user is being downvoted because he brought up an unrelated argument that contributes little to the discussion. The original complaint was being forced to stand up and pay respects to the late king. Not whether people liked/disliked the memorial.

It's akin to a debate about whether Apple was right to push copies of U2's albums onto all iTunes users [0], and someone chiming in with, "But I don't mind U2!"

[0] https://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/oct/15/u2-bono-issues...


They keep trying to make it more like TV. Seemingly oblivious to the generation using it exclusively because it's not TV.


I guess giant TV advertising budgets are sticky and they're trying to figure out how to shift them to YouTube?


Not just that--quality too. Enjoying your 4K computer screen? And you're paying for the highest-tier Netflix subscription to get 4K content? Well, unless you're using Microsoft Edge, you're capped at 720.

https://help.netflix.com/en/node/13444


Theres a chrome extension to get netflix to stream at 4k. https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/super-netflix/aioe...


> Pay for movie theater ticket, get served 30+ minutes of ads.

Man, you aren’t kidding. I’m a spoiled Seattleite who can walk to two IMAX theaters attached to a non-profit science center, Paul Allen’s Cinerama, and an indie theater. I had the experience of going to a big name multiplex theater in another city recently, and I just had to shake my head at how awful the experience was for how much it cost.


Almost instantly nowadays, because there are streaming torrent programs.


I wouldn't call an IMAX setup a 'subpar experience'


These days, when I have a movie ticket for time T, I plan to arrive at T+20 minutes. That's when the ads are over, roughly when the trailers are playing.


There are several "dining" theatres near me including one which only has full service prior to the films beginning, and all of them are low-occupancy theatres with online seat selection and generally very large, comfortable, sometimes rolling leather chairs.

Pick your ticket online, show up a few minutes earlier, enjoy a decent appetizer, and get a drink or two while the movie is on. Whatever floats your boat. I find it's a much better experience and frankly not that much more expensive than sitting through hell my local multiplex


That's nice, in my country we have two big movie theater companies who provide a similar service, but I hate it because they serve the food in the beginning of the movie, so there's a lot of noice and waiters coming and going.


Our local theater finally figured out the right way to do this. Only the rear half of the theater can order food at their seats. If you're in the front half, you have to get your food in the lobby and bring it in yourself.

This way, when you make your seat selection, you can choose if you want the convenience and slight distraction of waiters, or if you just want the comfy chair and no waiter.


I’ve one of these locally as well. We used to like it until we went 3 times in a row to see a specific movie and were told that the online schedule was incorrect. What a waste of time.


It doesn't work well if the ticket has no reserved seat. You do that and the only seat available will be in the first row.


Dont think thats really a thing outside of US (another thing the US is like awkwardly behind in).


Assigned seating is gaining traction pretty quickly here. The theaters with good reputations all assign seats.


Depends on the Cinema I guess. At least most cinemas I’ve worked with have configured their system to adjust show start depending on how much advertisement there is so the ads are finished ca 10-15 minutes after the scheduled time.


Well, when the movie is in theather, there are rarely good quality (non-cam) torrents available and the screen is usually bigger than at home, but it might not be a factor, depending on the viewer or the movie. But it's true when it reach DVD, you'll still have to watch the anti-piracy ads.


Interestingly Netflix et al skip the anti-piracy garbage and excluding the miserable UI actually do a good job of making "pick movie -> watch movie" as convenient as torrenting.

But still, I've torrented every DvD I own and the discs rot in the attic. I never cared about the extras anyway time to watch is ~a hundred times lower.


This might be different in the German 'market' but it rarely takes more than a few weeks to have a high quality copy of the cinema movie around.

There are at least 2 sites that have a way better selection than any video store, amazon or Netflix ever will have.

Except that some hosts force you to watch an ad (30 secs) it is literally the most comfortable way to consume anything.


If your client has a sequential downloading option and it's a healthy torrent with just the movie/show (i.e. not a split RAR file), you can effectively stream the movie/show.


Not to mention the increase of product placement in movies these days too!


Ive been paying 1-2$ for a movie on amazon or whatever. Non issue


I love the movie theater and the previews.


I liked previews more when they didn't spoil the entire movie. Movie theaters are okay for louder movies. I regret watching a quiet place in a theater. The loud audience did their best to ruin the experience.


Some theaters charge a little more and have a one-warning policy before ejecting customers for talking or using cellphones. I watched A Quiet Place in such a theater and thoroughly enjoyed the experience - the high-quality surround sound was great for a movie that relies so much on sound design.


Yep. I used to be able to play a non-music youtube video on my phone while playing music in the background.

Now it's one or the other, and I can't even get around it by playing music on another device since I use Google Play Music.

Shame Google Play Music is going away, it does some cool things. It lets me upload my own music so I can actually listen to Tool on a streaming service.[0] It lets me build up a collection of music without necessarily endorsing it with a positive rating. And of course it has most albums I go looking for.

But it's a Google product, so of course once it's made its way into your routine it gets canceled. I had hoped that the payment model would delay that a bit longer...

[0]: Tool is super pretentious and says they don't make songs, they make albums. So their music is not available on any services that would allow for buying singles, even if you could also buy the album. It's only available (last I checked) on Pandora where you're going to get nothing but singles and have no ability to listen to the full album.


It's a shame Google Play Music is a Google product. I have it and like it for the same reasons you do, but it is consistently hamstrung by clearly existing primarily to attract enough users to have a somewhat competitive service and gather usage data, not to excel in the market or outdo the competition. At the very least, it's not incentivized to improve much. They've only JUST fixed the UI issue where the 3 dots to select a song's context menu were only several pixels away from the scrollbar, so trying to queue a song could scroll you a mile away in the playlist. But there's a litany of issues that have gotten so frustrating I'm ready to switch.

-Adding a song to a playlist causes the entire playlist to refresh back to the top -The app is borderline useless without a connection - queuing songs doesn't work, modifying playlists is inconsistent at best, and the app seems to arbitrarily undownload albums - There's no ability to sort or filter a playlist. Spotify has let you search within a playlist or sort by artist for how many years, and Google can't hash out the same functionality. -Sometimes modifying playlists seems to desync them between the device and server, or something. I'll click a song, which starts for a brief second and then skips 3-5 songs down the playlist. Likewise, sometimes songs skip halfway through, sometimes they refuse to play at all...This is for me the basic functionality of a music app and GPM fails at it. These problems seem server related because they're 100x worse when casting.

At least it comes with YouTube Red. Though the existing YT Music app inexplicably does not allow you to queue videos on a chromecast. Regular youtube, I can add a dozen music videos to an editable queue. YT music, you must play each individually. Does Google have product managers?


It always kills me when people say things like this about gathering user data. I was an eng. manager on GPM for almost 5 years, and in that entire time I never participated in or even overheard anyone talk about the value of user data when it wasn't in the context of improving our music recommendations. Any benefits that other teams got from our user data were secondary at best, and we didn't really have time to think about that.


It's only my speculation as to why all these deficiencies go unaddressed. It seems to me like GPM is not in any way incentivized to offer a product significantly competitive to other music streaming apps. If they're not even using the usage data, then I've really got no guess on why the app is almost unusable on an airplane.

Thanks for your work on GPM. Don't know when you left the team, but there was a time when it was pretty even to the other offerings and it's still got its qualities. After all, I'm still paying for it.


So why does GPM suck so much then?


> Shame Google Play Music is going away

What makes you say that? From the linked blog:

> If you are a subscriber to Google Play Music, good news, you get a YouTube Music Premium membership as part of your subscription each month. And if you use Google Play Music, nothing will change -- you’ll still be able to access all of your purchased music, uploads and playlists in Google Play Music just like always.


> What makes you say that?

Years and years of experience with cloud-hosted products and anything that requires official support to continue to function.


Could you elaborate?


Google Reader, Google Wave, any of whatever chat/video/voice offerings they're planning on killing off in the next year or so. I don't even remember what they're called.


Which of those products were paid products and killed off?


Google Play Music isn't a paid product for me.


Hm, I'm not sure if Reader or Wave had a paid version.


Idk, play just seems more significant.


YouTube Red is the stupidest thing ever. It advertises as "youtube without ads", but the majority of ad content is embedded into the videos by the creators in the form of often undisclosed product placement.


That certainly exists, but that just means you need to change what you're watching. Channels like 3 Blue 1 Brown will openly disclose their ads, usually at the start or end of the video. And others simply have no content related to things you can buy and are supported via the YouTube ads in and around the video instead.


> 3 Blue 1 Brown

Their refresher series on linear algebra is seriously amazing as is other content. :)


Good point. I wonder if Google will start banning that to make YouTube Red/Premium more attractive.


If they do this, their content creators will leave for another platform.


What other platform?


A bunch left for twitch after the demonetization scandal. A few use exclusively Patreon, but there's no discoverability there.

I will agree there's not a lot of options, though.


How do you ban something like that? If I make a video in which I happen to be drinking a Mr. Pibb, how do you tell the difference between it being undisclosed product placement vs. me being thirsty?


As far as I know they do keep track of videos that have undisclosed product placement, I'm fairly sure I've read that videos that do that are getting demonetised.


I also have YouTube Premium and use it from my workstation + my work laptop + my phone, and never had this issue. Maybe this is something TV specific if you use their TV web app (cannot control playback from multiple devices at the same time) ?


Yeah, I don’t have this issue. I enjoy no ads and the ability the play videos while using other apps.


So I'm use red simultaneously on my TV (androidtv), my laptop, my phone and my tablet. All without any issues.


i i'm playing music on google play and go to watch a youtube video, i get a warning that i'm listening on another device. doesn't happen all the time, but it does happen.


Just one? At least Netflix was smart enough to give 2-4 or whatever.


I’ve yet to see that and I use YouTube like that literally every day. I wonder if you’re in a test group or specific to whatever media you’re watching.


They also have the worst Apple TV experience (unless I'm an idiot) where you can't queue anything. Their phone app plus a chromecast lets me load up a ton of videos to watch, I can't for the life of me figure out how to queue things using just the Apple TV however.


Just as an fyi, with an iPhone at least, you can get this same behavior of queuing with the apple tv youtube app + iOS youtube app. Not sure if this functionality is available with android, as the apple tv shows up as a cast option.


I disagree. My YouTube experience greatly improved with red.

No more ads. Ability to download videos for a long commute / plane ride.


You can do all of that easily without paying though, and without having the two screens issue.


Adblock or youtube-dl does not allow the video creator(s) to be paid for their content. I tried patreon to support creators I like but not all of them use it and their pricing changes awhile back turned me away. Youtube red has been a much better alternative.


Yes. But not available in the UK so I use patreon etc for few and the rest I complain to my friend at Youtube in the hope it will arrive here! Background play and offline is essential...


Not sure I've ever run into this problem but I pay to have my fiancée added to my subscription.


Does it still do that if you logout?

I don't have a YouTube account, and don't plan on creating one either.


Nope. That's the workaround. I usually just open an incognito window and watch the video I want.

Most of the time even if I pause my Google Play Music and open a new Youtube tab to watch a video I get the you can't watch two things at once notice. Very annoying.


The way Google brands products reminds me of Microsoft when they tried to attach an unrelated product to a moderately popular consumer brand (Looking at you Groove Music, I mean Xbox Music, I mean Zune Music)

There is nothing wrong with Google Play Music apart from the 'Play' misnomer. Google Music should be a standalone product that competes with Spotify. It's a well defined and well understood category. YouTube is a different product, used by different people, for different purposes and in different ways. Now you're confusing everything. Can I get audio-only version of YouTube videos or just YouTube music videos or does it have to be an audio-only upload? Does that mean you can have audio-only YouTube videos now (even without putting in some reference image?)? Is it going to kill my bandwidth if I try to stream on LTE? Is it going to replace Google Music? Are my playlists in Google Music and YouTube going to be replaced? Will there be YouTube comments on music (I hope not)? Can anybody upload to YouTube music? A year ago Google added mediocre support for podcasts to Google Music instead of building a dedicated app - will YouTube Music handle podcasts? URGH!

All they needed to do was to add background playback to YouTube and maybe a little link to the YouTube video in Google Music, and if you're watching a music video on YouTube, a link to a streaming service of your choice (like Google Music, Spotify or Apple Music).

Given how poorly this has been thought through, you just know in 2 years there will be another rebrand.


Despite the existence of Spotify, Pandora, Google Music, etc. There is a huge group of people (among the largest on youtube) that listen to music using youtube playlists.

This was definitely true when I was in college a few years ago. I think the main reason is that (partly thanks to copyright violations) YouTube a very reliable source for finding any song you're looking for, from ultra-popular to my-buddy-made-a-track-on-ableton-once. New singles will always hit youtube, but won't always hit every streaming service, but this has gotten better in recent years.

IMO, record studios aren't satisfied with the (relatively tiny) revenue from X million views on their youtube videos, it started out as a marketing channel for them, but now they believe the play-on-demand nature is cutting into their earning (it is). From YouTube's end this is a move to appease record studios concerned and simultaneously extract more money from an existing user base.


I'm not an audiophile in terms of music quality although I'll always spring for the highest quality version I can obtain when I have the choice but so long as that's not ~Top 3 on your list of important features of your musical source than I imagine Youtube might just be the best option for a given listener who has the capability to connect to the internet, has a speaker or musical setup to play music via the computer / internet / Youtube and the ability to connect Youtube / any internet audio source up to your daily musical needs (dock in bathroom while getting ready in the morning, AUX in car, headphones / dock at work, AUX in car, bluetooth boom box at the skatepark after work, dock to wind down to audio tapes while getting ready for bed).

Depending on what "general" field of music you tend to listen to the most Youtube is arguably the best source of music in the world if you have the capability and ability to use the internet and relay it to a speaker for yourself. The reason I say 'depending' is because when it comes to popular music, historical or forgotten music, less popular music, older artists, obscure artists, obscure songs, music from non-music releases (soundtracks, music embedded into tv or movies or games, live recordings, etc.) and that's just music -- not even getting into talk radio, podcasts, interviews, sports news, sports talk, political news, political talk, and the thousands if not millions of sub-categories and genres you could dig into for more entertainment.

Youtube is undoubtedly the best source for 99% of that type of material. Now the reason that I can't say 100% is because Soundcloud really does happen to have a large and disproportionately (oddly enough) relevant segment of what's going on in music today.

I think if you are the type of person who is really into EDM and going to festivals than Soundcloud might be a better all around music app for you -- depending on what you like to listen to them most.

For the vast majority (90%+) of my casual music listening I am listening to Soundcloud. A lot of the artists I listen to are outside of the US and their artist names and/or track names might be in a language I don't understand or even be represented by characters or kanji that I can't even start to interpret let alone type into a search bar.

From the outside looking in without any context or history with Soundcloud you may not see the appeal but if I sit here and try to rationalize things without injecting my own personal opinion I guess I'd just say that Soundcloud, over the last 5-7 years, has without a doubt been the largest source for individuals and labels / label A&Rs / music executives / taste makers / influential DJs / etc. to discover and enjoy new music by new artists in a very direct way. This has led directly to many of the artists we know and hear of today being a product of discovery via the Internet and Soundcloud.

When the Spotifys, Google Musics, Pandoras, and iTunes-types talk in private I always wonder how much they pay attention to the canyon between how successful Soundcloud is in so many needed / important / relevant criteria (in terms of metrics any competing music service would dream to hit) yet at the same time being a terrible failure in terms of earnings and as a picture of a company you'd want to emulate.

I wonder how much of the insanity of Soundcloud being broke yet making their biggest artists into millionaires factors into the other competing services going about business.

You obviously have to do lots of things wrong to be as big as known as Soundcloud is yet be broke.

Also, you obviously have to do lots of things right to be as big and as known as Soundcloud, be broke, and still be able to deliver that service that has kept so many faithful patrons and contributors coming back for more all these years.

It's like a train crash that you can't look away from. Sadly enough, I have lots of important memories and slices of entertainment on that train so there's more reasons than "I'm a morbid human" for watching it explode into a fiery ball of failures.


It's almost as if google hired the people from microsoft who did it over there


The only thing I can surmise is that they either just want no part of competing in the music arena (there are definitely folks within Google that want to, are working to compete, and probably have made some great things to boot) but it definitely has never felt like something Google was pushing for in terms of it being it's flagship product / project. In a sense Google+ never really felt that way to me either, beyond just being annoyingly invasive during the rollover and there after.

It feels like with Google's back catalog of audio (via Youtube and otherwise) plus their ability to ID and catalog all types of data makes me feel that their ultimate, final form music service could be the most certain home run / competition killer ever rolled out but to me that doesn't seem AT ALL compatible with Google's new product roll out method which seems to be: quietly release new product / project and hope it catches on for being really great at what it does.

Their method of roll out, from my POV, makes them look smarter when a project without an inaudible roll out becomes a smash hit and also makes them look less "of a failure?" when their roll out of a project winds up being an eventual failure (I think they learned this lesson for the final ultimate time with Google+, if I had to guess).

I don't know if their "ideal roll out method" (from my POV, from my mind) is compatible with releasing a true "Google Music" Project / Product / Service.

In my (our?) mind(s) I (we) can clearly see all the cogs and ability and musical data and artist / music metadata to power and skin a potential "Google Music" so what is or has stopped them from releasing such a product, ultimately?


There's nothing wrong with it, besides the pathological need to write their desktop client in web technologies. I can't use Google Music because I registered and uploaded music for a Google account that isn't my primary Google account. But the client always opens to the wrong account since it shares state with my browser. But there isn't the normal user switcher that you find on other Google products. All the other competitors desktop apps are so far superior that I still pay for Spotify despite having bought 2 Google Home devices.


Just so you're aware, you already get background playback on mobile devices if you pay for YouTube Red.


I find this the height of arrogance that Google charges for this and it enrages me on a level I freely admit is irrational and pointless.

But just the gall:

1. Get FREE creative work from musicians, film types, tv types, and tons of bright friendly ordinary people

2. Monetize the hell out of it (fine)

3. Allow a sewer community of racists bullies and other terrible people to develop in comments section (negligent but ok it's gotten a little better)

4. Make it hard for visitors to extract original media even though you're purporting to be a hosting service (lame but I can live with it)

5. Cripple playback in basic ways for petty reasons (you're starting to really suck)

6. Try and CHARGE people to undo 5 (Gah!!!!! Die!!!)

I pay for a lot of things. I pay Hulu extra for the ad free version. I pay HBO for HBO Now even though I have a pirated Go login. I buy tv shows on iTunes. I'll even buy movies off friggin' Amazon if it means not pirating them. But I will never pay Google to achieve BASIC playback capabilities on other people's content just on PRINCIPLE. Never. Greedy greedy little leeches. YouTube is a great thing but the people who run it have turned Bad.


You fail to mention that YouTube allows people to monetize off the content they create. There are a whole lot of content creators whose sole income source is YouTube. Many of those videos wouldn't exist if there was no monetary incentive. So, yes, YouTube does profit off a lot of content it doesn't own, but it generates a ton too.


Not really. The truth is more that Google lured independent content creators to their platform with monetization, and is now driving them away by gasligighting them with obscure and impossible to follow rules, to make room for cable tv news shows and inane reality tv stars.

Most of my favorite youtubers have been demonetized, and had to change their content if they wanted to survive. The Alternative History channel was gaslighted pretty bad and their G-rated animated mini-documentary videos got flagged for hate speech(?), while Logan Paul made tens of thousands of dollars from YouTube monetizing his disrespecting a Japanese corpse.


Disabling background play in the YouTube app is driven from the licensing deals they have with record labels. If they don't (make a reasonable attempt to) show the ads they don't have permission to show the video/play the music.

I suspect they could theoretically allow background play for other content but that would be confusing to users.


The stuff I want to background is not music, lately it's been a lot of conference talks, and most of the time there's not even an ad.

Even when I've used YouTube for music, the ads are always pre-roll. If I watch the pre-roll ad, why not let me background at that point?

Google could allow backgrounding for content with no ads. They could allow backgrounding of non musical content if you've watched the ad (they can detect if it's music and what song it is, that's how they pay royalties to labels on songs uploaded by random people). They could allow backgrounding of musical content if you've watched the ad.

YouTube doesn't attempt to handle any of these scenarios. Handling these scenarios would involve an investment of software and possibly legal resources — only to improve the experience of millions and millions of users, and to conserve tons of energy, without making Google any money, and even potentially reducing revenue to YouTube Red (or Premium or whatever it is next week). Why would a company in a monopoly position do that? I get WHY Google won't do this. It's not about licensing, it's about money and motivations. But I'm not going to pay into it.


If there were a HackerNews Gold, I would gift this comment one. Thank you.


I came at it from the opposite direction. I prefer Google Play Music to Spotify. Google Play Music comes with a subscription to YouTube Red. Occasionally I will watch a video on YouTube. I appreciate the added value of not needing to watch ads on the occasions that I use YouTube, and knowing that I’m still supporting the content creators even though I don’t consume the ads.


But only very few countries in the world are allowed to pay for YouTube Red, and I don’t get why. I thought every creator had to agree to the terms of service, which would allow YouTube to sell ad-free access via YouTube Red all over the world.


You COULD play any YouTube video in the background on Chrome on iOS until about a year ago. YouTube specifically sabotaged their site by registering hooks that stop the video when the browser loses focus, so you can't even view something in another tab, much less turn the screen off. This "feature" is a regression with no benefit to the user, and Google was so ashamed at what they did that they didn't even tell anyone.

Luckily, you can thwart it by: 1) Requesting the desktop version of a YouTube video 2) Replacing youtube.com with hooktube.com in the address bar

Perhaps soon Google will disable the use of labels in GMail and then charge you for "GMail Red" to get access to them again.

Shitty move on their part.


To be fair YouTube has been primarily a music streaming service for years. All of the top viewed videos are music, this mostly adds an alternate UI.


For some. Not others.

My point is not that YouTube shouldn't add better Music support. My point is that it won't/can't replace something like Spotify.


In principle at least, it might be nice to have live performances and music videos too.


>If you are a subscriber to Google Play Music, good news, you get a YouTube Music Premium membership as part of your subscription each month.

Calling it now, within 5 years there are at least 5 different Google services for streaming music (up from 3 now, Play Music/Youtube/Youtube Music) at least 2 of which are also somehow messaging apps.

It's even plausible, one for VR music videos, one for streaming in your self driving google car?


Well we're at 4 or 4.5 now.

1. YouTube

1.5 YT Music (basically a music-oriented front-end to YouTube)

2. Google Play Music All-Access

3. YouTube Music Premium (from the article)

4. (or 3.5) VEVO

I particularly enjoyed this quote:

> The days of jumping back and forth between multiple music apps and YouTube are over.

As the above list shows, this is demonstrably false. Given that YouTube Red (or YouTube Premium as they'll soon be rebranding it as) is also part of this package, Google Play Music All-Access is beginning to resemble something of an AV-oriented Prime membership. Lots of benefits, not a lot of focus, but hey, maybe they'll buy up PornHub and add PornHub subscriptions to the stack whether you want it or not, just to make your recurring monthly payments a bit stickier.


It's comical. Google needs some PMs/POs/management who can reign in all the obvious internal politics. Google could own the streaming market if they could just build a coherent product, instead we get what you listed out.


Google needs less of so called product-"leadership" (like PMs and management) who are usually drivers of the aforementioned politics. The engineers need to have control to actually let engineering and metrics drive these decisions.


Well, where's the CEO? Where's Sundar?

All these different music apps and messaging apps... What's going on at Google?

What a mess.


Google could literally buy the music industry with cash sitting around.


Isn't Apple part of that music industry? Considering they have a significantly higher market cap...


no? they're just a retailer of music. I'm talking about the music industry - the people who make and distribute and market music.


Well they definitely distribute and market... and the creator would be the artist (most of the time). So you’re just talking about producers / labels I guess? Definitely not what I would assume when you say industry...


That is the music industry. The rights holders and creators (IP owners). The distro channels are part of it, but wouldn't necessarily change (you want to distribute everywhere you can). If google bought all the music IP in the world, the distro channels are unchanged (unless Google decided to limit distribution!).


Google does it with other products as well.

See for example the Instant messaging apps they have done: 0) Google Wave 1) Google Talk 2) Hangouts 3) Google Duo and Google Allo 4) Android Messaging 5) other ?

and of course of course the Task mess good has implemented in Google Assistant, Google Tasks, Google Calendar and Google Keep.

Seriously Google needs to plan better their brands and services.


There's another way to look at this. That is, The Google is not a product (or brand) company. It's an analytics company. Despite all the hype about it's greatness and genius it is still (for all intents and purposes) a one trick pony; some would say a monopoly as well.

If this is your lens then their drunk sailor march of products is not much of a surprise. In fact, those who see it as a monopoly might even suggest its "failures" are intentional, or at least ultimately a (regulatory) positive for The Google.

Side note: In the hands of just about anyone else, Wave would have - and probably still could - bury Slack. Wave was the future. A future that would have been mucked by ads. That was its downfall.


> In fact, those who see it as a monopoly might even suggest its "failures" are intentional, or at least ultimately a (regulatory) positive for The Google.

Possibly. I see these products more of putting a bunch of smart programmers in a room with no management. Everyone wants to throw out the old and build something new. I've seen it myself at many companies, just at a much smaller scale. Google can get away with this because their search cash cow.

A good analogy is team building for a single product and only having experienced master programmers. Is there enough interesting work for a team of only master programmers? Teams usually work best with a mix of experience so that the grunt work for one member is learning/great work for another.


Yup. Ultimately, these products aren't about products and new revenue but keeping their best engineers happy (and out of the hands of anyone else).


> Side note: In the hands of just about anyone else, Wave would have - and probably still could - bury Slack. Wave was the future. A future that would have been mucked by ads. That was its downfall.

I mean they did open source it and hand it off to Apache:

http://incubator.apache.org/projects/wave.html

Me and another online friend agreed that Wave was just too hip and cool and ahead of itself that regular users would never appreciate it, and I think Google realized as well, it would of been cool to have seen Google Code feature Wave as a feature of Google Code back in the day, maybe it would of made it more popular back then.

It still saddens me to see Microsoft (CodePlex) and Google (Google Code) both shutdown GitHub alternatives which just needed more love and care given to them.


Yeah, I know then open sourced it. But that's not quite the same.

"Too hip"? Early on MySpace was too hip. Twitter, FB, etc. all too hip. That said, eventually such things mainstream. Given how well Wave reflected actual conversation I think it could have caught on. Again, it was better than Slack, and look where Slack is.

No disrespect of Slack. But Wave was actually something special.


Which trick? Email? YouTube? Maps? Android? Chrome? Photos?

Not sure I am following? Looking at top 10 apps for all smartphones they own five of the top ten. Then at websites it is a similar story.

Can you explain?


Analytics and from that Ads. That's the trick.

Thiel takes them to task in Zero to One. Worth reading just for that.


Read it. The book is about creating monopolies not the opposite.


> maybe they'll buy up PornHub and add PornHub subscriptions to the stack whether you want it or not, just to make your recurring monthly payments a bit stickier

Purely from a payment processing point of view, unless Google wants to fight Visa, MasterCard and other institutions this will never happen. There are a lot of restrictions around content and payment processors that you would assume is covered by freedom of speech that in a practical sense isn't.


Obviously this is an opportunity for Google to get into the business of making more payment apps. They're way behind the curve on that compared to their music and chat services, only having two at this point (Google Pay and Tez).

There is an obvious hole right there that I'm sure they could fill with a blockchain or anonymous gift cards. Or both! They could be the leading service provider for using the blockchain to verify gift cards in a distributed ledger and use it as middleware to convert gift cards into Google Points. What are Google Points good for? Anything cash is good for! So buying ad placements (on Google), music subscriptions (provided by Google), extra cloud storage (in the Google Cloud of course, 'scuse me, Google One), stock (in GOOG) and groceries (via Google Express).

Or you know, they could just inherit whatever agreements PornHub has with their existing payment processor that covers PornHub Premium on their way to reinventing Prime. That isn't as sexy as making 5 more payment apps though. Definitely not as sticky and not enough blockchain.


Google Play Cards are country locked. I am literally not able to use Google Play services with a 'gift card' outside of my home Country.

For me this makes it incredible useless. I doubt they actually want to build anything intuitive for that problem.


In their defense they did release 2 previous payments apps (wallet and android pay), but rolled them into google pay


Ah, that would be Google Pay and Google Pay Send.


can't tell if sarcasm

o_O


There are always holes in the market and Google is always writing Apps to fill those holes. This is an effort to achieve maximum market penetration and their go to strategy these past few years has been to try a more diverse approach so that they can fill all the holes with their own Apps and Services.

Why do you think I'm being sarcastic?


Freedom of speech does not cover corporations, I really don't get why that is still being brought up.

Credit card companies don't want to be held responsible if your CC payment is being used for the sexual exploitation of people. They don't want to be associated with revenge porn, etc. I'm sure there's a puritan reasoning in there too somewhere, but TBF I doubt that's the primary reason given how big the porn market would be for companies like that.


I imagine that's a part of it but also the risk of chargeback is greater with adult content. People get buyers remorse at the exact moment you think they would and reverse the charge

Tried to start a site that wasn't for but did allow adult content and every payment processor closed their shutters on us


Freedom of speech SHOULD cover corporations. Especially in situations where an effective duopoly has frightening amount of international control that ultimately drawves most nation states, as is the case with Visa and MasterCard.

Visa and MC should be broken up, or at the very least regulated to the extent they can't cough without regulatory oversight.


> Freedom of speech SHOULD cover corporations

It does, the same way it covers everyone else: corporations are actors who have freedom of speech, a fundamental component of which is the ability to choose what speech they will and will not participate in, either as initiator or intermediary.


And that’s why payment processors have to die.

With bank transfers, no one except law regulates what you can pay for. With EC, same. With VISA/MasterCard/PayPal, selling cuban cigars in Germany from a German company to a German customer gets you banned.


Google operates under the assumption that they're making a "free market": they have a ton of services, some competing directly, and in the end a winner emerges and snuffs everyone else out.

I guess someone should tell them about the paradox of choice, branch dilution and the fact that despite Google being big, they're not an entire market unto themselves.

Google: make 1 big, single, integrated service and when a startup supplants you in your selected market, just buy them for $15 billion.


> Google operates under the assumption that they're making a "free market": they have a ton of services, some competing directly, and in the end a winner emerges and snuffs everyone else out.

Except they are only doing the first part, putting out a lot products. At some point they have to kill off the other products and put the combined resources behind the one that wins. All I see is more products getting released.


They do it all the time. Got rid of all the Photo apps for example and just one.


I’ve heard this meme repeated before, but is there any example of when it actually worked for them? Is there a single google product that was originally one of many internally and is now the market leader?

I can only think of counter examples... everywhere google spreads too thin they lose market share to competitors. Messaging is the prime example.


Maybe it happens behind the scenes. If they have several engineering teams working on different data mining algorithms, the user is not going to notice the paradox of choice, the brand dilution and so on, because it's an internal product.


I guess you're agreeing with me? I can't tell :)


Yeah we definitely agree. You were citing Google's strategy, which I agree is there strategy -- I'm just wondering if anyone has an example of when it worked.


Search, gmail, maps, arguably android


What were the internal competitors for those projects?

Personally, I don't know of any other Google search projects, other than Google Search itself.


> Google: make 1 big, single, integrated service and when a startup supplants you in your selected market, just buy them for $15 billion.

They tried that with Google Plus. It didn't work so they tried to buy Twitter. That also didn't work, so we have the Google we have now.


Well, they're in tough competition with the chat team. They still got some work to do to end up with at least as many music streaming services as google has messaging services/apps.


Saw your comment after my post. Exactly.

And I guess, given the context, two similar comments can be tolerated. ;-)


YouTube already includes comments and a chat on live streams, so close to a messaging app ;-)

Seriously though, YouTube is not a music service, or at least it looks like they don't want it to be, since the interface isn't really great for that case. It also kills phone battery if you use it that way, so YouTube music is an experience upgrade.


> YouTube is not a music service

I have to disagree there, it's become my new de-facto music service on my desktop/tablet, at least since I failed to properly move my iTunes database and lost/unorganized large parts of my music collection.

The autoplay and mix playlist features are great for discovering new artists, even tho the algorithm can get a bit repetitive and after a while starts populating many lists with the same songs, having the music videos to many songs is also a great added bonus.


Maybe they should have just let people upload audio files with a title card, rather than fragment the service into another app. Would have fixed the bandwidth/battery problem and kept the interface, network, etc.


Lots of music just have a static image anyway, I wonder if YouTube couldn't figure something out to automatically re-encode such videos into audio-only streams, making them less bandwidth intensive.

I'm no coder but that doesn't sound like something impossible to do.


If the image is a single keyframe of the video, the remaining frames have an empty delta and shouldn't take much (if any) space.


I agree that's how it's used. And also think that this is likely not how Google wants it to be used. There's a music player hiding somewhere in YT, but without a nice interface and wasting amazing amount of global bandwidth for the video stream many people don't care about. (but turn up the quality to get a better audio stream) It's not a music service - it's a music video service with some music piggybacking on top in a silly way.


> so YouTube music is an experience upgrade.

Based on the press release, it doesn't seem so. It's basically just added a "music only" option, but otherwise it seems to just be a curated section of Youtube that only involves musical content. The same experience you get with vanilla Youtube seems to be applicable.

And looking at the pricing, you still get all the battery pitfalls baked into Youtube unless you buy premium.

Honestly, it feels more like an attempt to curate Youtube rather than developing a music app. Right now the top video content competes with the published Music content and likely just creates a really weird imbalance in the algorithm toppers.

Personally, I think they could have just handled this with some better organization within Youtube, but here we are with a new app.


I mean the top videos are pretty much all music videos https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most-viewed_YouTube_vi...


Actually, YouTube also has a second chat app included.


They're just trying to catch up with Chat... err, [ha, I was going to mention, but I can't even remember the name of the most recent revision of Google IM-thingee]

P.S. Sometimes, people break out the humor for good reason. I mean, really?


They will probably deprecate the old ones and merge everything in youtube (which would make sense).


I've been a Google Play Music subscriber from the beginning, which means I've enjoyed the grandfathered $7.99 price. That has also extended to YouTube Red.

However, this announcement muddies the waters a bit.

> If you are a subscriber to Google Play Music, good news, you get a YouTube Music Premium membership as part of your subscription each month.

Cool, I guess, except I don't go to YouTube for Music. I really am incredibly interested in YouTube Red. I mean YouTube Premium, I guess.

> To extend the features of YouTube Music Premium beyond the music app, we’re soon introducing YouTube Premium, the new name for our YouTube Red subscription service. [describes YouTube Red] If you’re already a YouTube Red (soon to be YouTube Premium) member, don’t worry you’ll still enjoy your current price.

So, if you have Google Play Music, do you get YouTube Premium?


It sounds like previous subscribers are grandfathered in:

“When YouTube Premium launches, YouTube Red members will automatically receive access at their current price. In countries where YouTube Red is currently available, a new member can also secure this price ($9.99 in the U.S.) by joining now at youtube.com/red.

I agree it’s very confusing.

https://youtube.googleblog.com/2018/05/introducing-youtube-p...


nope, you have to pay $12 to continue having Red. :(


Google support told me the opposite. Why does everything need to be so confusing?


Google Support are correct, and that is what the article says. The poster you're replying to is simply wrong.


Because Google absolutely does not care about you as a consumer.


It's not clear how this benefits their advertisers either, though. It just seems like poor planning.


This is extremely disappointing. I’m sure the amount of $7.99 GPM early adopters is minuscule to their metrics, but the cost of goodwill is far higher.


> If you’re already a YouTube Red (soon to be YouTube Premium) member

I subscribe to google play music but if I look at my youtube red status is says member. So I assume, I will continue to enjoy it at no extra cost. I chatted with google and they said the same but the wording is really confusing...so who knows.


YouTube Red is the killer feature that keeps me with GPM. If I lose YouTube Red, I'd probably switch back to Spotify.


> > If you’re already a YouTube Red (soon to be YouTube Premium) member

> I subscribe to google play music but if I look at my youtube red status is says member. So I assume, I will continue to enjoy it at no extra cost. I chatted with google and they said the same but the wording is really confusing...so who knows.

That's reflecting the current pricing structure, no? Currently, buying play music also gets you read. From the article, it looks like you no longer get Red (renamed Premium), you instead only get YT Music.


But buying YouTube Red gets you GPM and will get you YT Premium.

Buying GPM which gets you YTR won’t get you premium? It’s the same price!!


Not the same price for those of us who were grandfathered into the $7.99/month GPM intro price. Hence the problem. Otherwise a switch to YTR before May 22 would remove the uncertainty.

Also, I subscribed when living in the US and now live in Canada. I'm wondering if I can somehow retain the grandfathered price or an equivalent discount whenever I switch my Google account to know that I live in Canada now. Somehow I'm guessing not... $9.99 Canadian is actually less than $7.99 US most of the time, but YTR isn't available on this side of the border, so I can't lock that in. (YT Premium will be here, the announcement says, at some unspecified later date.)

Canada seems to have the same $7.99 grandfathering deal (but in Canadian dollars) for its early subscribers. Time to ask Google support what they can do, I guess...


Yeah, I’m super confused. Does this mean I will start getting ads in YouTube because I only have the Google Play Music subscription? If so, they’ve just removed the one reason I haven’t switched to Spotify.


Considering that Google has been doing this kind of stuff for years now, it's pretty clear that goodwill does not cost enough to matter.


What sells me on spotify is the ability to control it from any device. Listening on my phone while at my computer? Hit skip on my keyboard and the phone skips to the next track. Playing on my Dot? I can pause right from my phone. Ditto with volume control.

I wanted to like amazon music but I could not because of the lack of these features.


Different story for me. I listen to desktop spotify while at work regularly. Every time I lock my computer to go have lunch and want to listen to spotify on my car, there is the dreaded "Listen on this device option" which will randomly appear either right when I start playing on my phone or 5 minutes later when I'm already driving and my phone is locked, which stops the current playing music.

Also, if I choose to listen on the new device, it starts playing whatever was playing on the last device, which usually is not what I want since I have different offline lists on different devices. If I'm already playing something on the device, don't ask me to listen to what was on the other device, honor my latest input please.


I don't have that problem. It might be because you leave the music playing on your desktop?


Exactly. I wish I could make all this shared context disappear and make it act dumber. I find myself fighting the way it works all the time :(


What killed Amazon Music for me was:

1) Terrible playlists curated by people (most likely using popularity data) that didn't know anything about the genres or how they should flow.

2) Family Sharing that let family members use my credit card to order stuff.

For a while I worked at building my own playlists on Amazon Music, but the straw that broke the camel's back was a relative inadvertently ordering a cat tree on my dime.


Did you set this up manually? I'm not using Spotify but this sounds rather confusing. Is it at least smart enough to recognize when there's something else playing on your computer and send the skip command to that app instead of your phone if you hit the skip key?


It knows which device is currently playing. Anything you do sends it to the currently playing device. You can pull up a list of all connected devices and select which one you want to be playing. It then starts on the new device from where the old one left off.

It works really well. I have my raspberry pi plugged into my amplifier, and play through that. I control it with my phone or laptop, whichever is nearer.


I think the question is about the media keys. What happens if your phone is playing something on Spotify, and your laptop is playing something on VLC, but also has Spotify open? Does pressing the skip media key make both players skip, or just one of them?


On Windows hold shift then press the media keys to control a second (background) program. Found this out purely by accident in this exact scenario, VLC in foreground and Spotify in background!!!


Ah interesting question.

This thread implies that there can be a war between apps fighting for control

https://community.spotify.com/t5/Desktop-Windows/Media-keys-....

I've never really used the media keys, so have no idea how it really works in practice. Might have a play when I get home later.


On Windows VLC will swallow hot keys if it's on top, otherwise they are caught by spotify. If they are both in the background it's spotify. If there's another app that listens to the same hot keys, I think (pretty confident) that it's the last one to register for the hot key.


As other replies pointed out, this is handled by the OS. Seems to work well most of the time for me on Ubuntu.


I think the media key interuption dispatching is handled by the OS and not the apps


Yeah it's actually really handy. I can send spotify to my chromecast from my phone, and as long as I have spotify open on my laptop, I can use the media keys to pause or skip.


You can only listen on one device at a time so this never hapoens. All devices states are synced and one of them is playing


Coincidentally, I've already been using YouTube as a "music streaming service" for many years --- youtube-dl, mpv, and some Perl scripts holding it all together.


For a more integrated experience, there's also:

https://github.com/mps-youtube/mps-youtube


Interesting! Do you have a way to search for particular tracks and load them into a queue via the command line? That would be awesome.


So what is the Youtube Music app that has been on my iPhone for months? And what happens to Google Play Music, google's other music streaming service?


The Google Play Music and YouTube Music teams were merged about a year ago, and have been working on producing a single app that can serve both userbases since then. I assume this announcement means they’ve finished that work. (Source: I was on the team at the time, but I’ve been gone for a while at this point.)


I really hope it doesn't screw up my Google Play Music workflow / usage but I was just thinking today why can't I just listen to YouTube songs on the same app. Other weirdness was my GPM app didn't load all morning so I listened off the YouTube Music app as a fallback.

Btw! Thank you for all your hard work! I am die hard for Google All Music Access! I was happy when Google grandfathered me on to YouTube Red too. You guys have done great work overall.


> And if you use Google Play Music, nothing will change -- you’ll still be able to access all of your purchased music, uploads and playlists in Google Play Music just like always.


Great! The one big reason I sticked with GPM is being able to upload tracks that just aren't on streaming services.

I kinda like the social aspects of Spotify but I really like having random OSTs/DJ mixes all in the same spot


May the best app win as usual ;)


I wonder what happens to self-uploaded music. I read that it's being migrated, but will we still be able to upload, or will this disappear?

The only reason why I'm not with Spotify, but with Google Music (or now Apple music as test) is because I have a lot of songs that are just not covered in their catalogues that I uploaded myself.


This is the $1000 question. Google Play Music will live in the short term, but this comment from Google indicates that Google Play Music will eventually be retired - “it’s critical we have one offering that meets the needs of consumers and artists.”

Source - https://www.droid-life.com/2018/05/16/youtube-music-price-la...

Will YouTube Music launch with feature parity w/Google Play Music and offer an upload function so that users can stream tracks they upload themselves?


Yep. Good old Tool, who won't let any streaming service use their music because it devalues the experience of listening to a full album.

Except that it's been available on Pandora for years, which is the only major streaming service that doesn't allow you to listen to full albums.


The post explicitly says:

> And if you use Google Play Music, nothing will change -- you’ll still be able to access all of your purchased music, uploads and playlists in Google Play Music just like always.


Yes, uploaded music will be available but this doesn't cover if we will still be able to upload new music going forward.


Normally when I see this kind of announcement, I think "It will take long before they learn and nail it like the main competition" - in this case Spotify. Spotify seems to be doing a great job curating new music or building playlist specifically for me according to what I listen to, and I can only assume it's 100% automated obviously.

Google is so strong with ML today, and not stopping, I don't know what will allow smaller competitors to stay differentiated. I just had a call with a G recruiter, and pretty much 100% of the roles they have in all their European offices are ML-related roles, on most products. And they hire without ML experience, which I think is a sign of how much they are investing in ML.

This is no news, but having this call and seeing how little non-ML they had was really eye opening on how much this is G's focus now, and it can only be exponential I assume.


What you’re saying seems like it must be true... Google must be so strong at ML. How could it be otherwise?

And yet, YouTube recommendations are terrible lowest common denominator nonsense. It’s just “more of the same” for some surface level definition of “same”. There doesn’t seem to be any playfulness to the learning algorithm at all. No Bayesian experiments. There’s no flex.

Amazon too... so much data, so many smart people.

Why can’t these companies lead me on a garden path of delights? Why can’t they take my hand and walk with me through the full content space? Why do I continually feel that there are vast delightful segments of the catalog I will never see unless I query for them?


One of the many problems with machine learning, and using it for recommendations, is that it completely ignores how humans think and behave. Just because I watch a few videos of a certain type today, and actively seek them out, doesn't mean that I want to see similar videos again next week. Maybe I was just in the mood for that type of content today, tomorrow may be something completely different.

That being said, YouTubes recommendation algorithm is mostly garbage. I don't believe it has any insight into the actual content or quality of the videos it recommends.


Anecdotal, but I recently wanted to make bread. I watched 4-5 videos to get the gist of it, made bread, all is good.

Except it's not. About 70-80% of my recommandations on YouTube are about bread now.


Again, anecdotal, but I can't get rid of Bill Buhr recommendations. I've tried numerous times to help YouTube by telling the algorithm that: "No, I don't want to watch Bill Buhr".

But no, he's immune.


We see you recently bought a dishwasher. Here are some ads for more dishwashers.


Right!

YouTube simply knows what you'll find tempting to watch by being just a bit more radical than you currently are, in a spiral.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/10/opinion/sunday/youtube-po...

Which is, indeed, garbage...


That's because there is so much variation in what you watch on youtube - from listening to music, to movie trailers, to sports highlights, to howtos about cooking, etc.

The music we listen to is way easier to analyse, even if we have some variation in what we like. Sometimes im in the mood for classical, sometimes its rap. Easy to differentiate and offer me playlists for each genre.


Not just YouTube, Google Play Music's recommendations are truly terrible. I'm regularly being recommended whatever is popular, rather than anything I'll actually listen to. The only time I've ever witnessed Google Play get a recommendation right is when a band I've already added to my library releases a new album.

It irks me that after being a subscriber for many years, Google Play still doesn't have anything like Spotify's Discover Weekly. The Google Play Music recommendations are just so god-damn awful. I don't know if it's actually the case, but they come across as ads, not recommendations i.e. Some record label paid lots of money to be "recommended" frequently.


Can I ask what music?

It's been pretty good for me with new releases. I mean, it's not perfect but I listen to mostly indie rock and it's turned me on to a lot of stuff I enjoy, and it never suggests top 40. I also never use the thumbs up/down.


Perhaps one of the problems is that the music I listen isn't well defined in terms of genre - songs on the same album can vary significantly. However, I guess mostly post hardcore and progressive rock - there are bands/artists in these genres I like, but others I have absolutely no interest in. However, I also have lots of "rock", punk rock and some pop rock stuff in my library. I mostly get a lot of metal and hardcore recommendations which I'm simply not interested in. It's also not unusual for me to see rap and R&B recommendations, which I'm unlikely to be interested in (although some songs I like may be defined as such).


You need to use the thumbs up to train it, Also if you play the artist's radio it does play similar artists and i have found some new artists that way. But there is no structure to it, the home page only suggests things that are already in my library, mostly i doubt anybody cares about play music at google.


I thumbs down bad recommendations every time I try them. I must admit I don't thumbs up music frequently, but absolutely everything I like I add to my library. I've been doing this since Google Play Music was first launched.

One glaring issue is that you can only easily thumb-down individual songs. There used to be a "Not Interested" button hidden the 3-dot drop down menu, I used that all the time but it never seemed to work - probably why they removed it.


So I guess this actually trumps my previous point, which was music is easier than video. But if you say now google is garbage at recommending music too... then I guess they are not as great as I thought on ML.


im going to have to disagree here. ive trained my google play by hitting the like button on songs i like. My music taste is wide ranging but often quite selective within a genre and its really blown me away with how good its been with providing me with subtley new music i.e just similar enough to interest me but different enough that i dont get bored. This also feeds into my weekly 'new music that i might like' menu. I really dont get suggested anything thats in the charts anymore much to my pleasure!


> And yet, YouTube recommendations are terrible lowest common denominator nonsense.

You might be assuming that YouTube recommendations are optimized for your enjoyment. In fact, they might be optimized to maximize advertising revenue.

It is known (or has been frequently alleged) that the advertising revenue tier that videos are eligible for influences their position in rankings, for example. Some videos earn more from ads than others, and YouTube ranks the high-earning videos above low-ranking videos purely for that reason. It's very possible that the "lower common denominator nonsense" videos are the popular ones, with broadest appeal, that earn the most advertising revenue for Google.


>And yet, YouTube recommendations are terrible lowest common denominator nonsense. It’s just “more of the same” for some surface level definition of “same”. There doesn’t seem to be any playfulness to the learning algorithm at all. No Bayesian experiments. There’s no flex.

Because the goal is not to suggest the videos that you're most likely to like. The goal is to maximize revenue. That pirated rip of a How It's Made episode will make them next to nothing, but that 10 minute partnered video "DO GIRLS POOP?!?!??!" will make them how ever many thousands of dollars the creator payed to promote it + ad sharing.


You are making a good point - Youtube recommendations ARE garbage. But I wonder how harder recommending videos compared to music. My guess is that doing data analysis on music in simpler because you only have to analyse the music data itself (frequency, bpm, etc) + related artists, etc.

I'm sure doing movies recommendation is easier than youtube videos. For example I watched "this is america" recently. I liked the video, but mostly because of the video, not the music. How does youtube understands that I want more of this type of imagery and not sound? Very hard.

That might also explain why we services like Spotify doing a good job at discovery, but I can't think of a service doing the same for videos.

But I agree with you, lots of example of google not doing a good job with ML. At the same time, it seems like they are doing a good job with ML on other (maybe simpler) things, such as gmail/inbox, search, etc.


Last.fm (which tracks played music) could already recommend me some good music ten years ago... It could even tell why it recommended something ("because you like X and Y").

They even had a fricken desktop app for Linux to play their personalized radio! Today, well the basic tracking funtionality still works...


Weirdly it seems to be because of scale - YouTube is just so big with such a high volume of videos, user data, and new videos, they can't yet run the ML algorithms they'd really want to over the whole corpus.

https://www.quora.com/How-does-YouTubes-recommendation-algor...

So meanwhile we get emotionally-stunted video recommendations from a savant toddler. It's really harmful.


That just sounds like a poor choice of a first step; why not use a random sample, then apply their sophisticated algorithm on that?


people with non-mainstream tastes are not statistically significant and in the age of ML optimization we can expect recommendations for them becoming even worse


> Google is so strong with ML today, and not stopping, I don't know what will allow smaller competitors to stay differentiated.

If they use the same algorithm YouTube uses to pick videos for me, Spotify doesn't have to worry at all. It just gives me the same things over and over and I never discovered anything worthy from their video suggestions. I have to actively search to find anything new.


> Google is so strong with ML today, and not stopping, I don't know what will allow smaller competitors to stay differentiated. I just had a call with a G recruiter, and pretty much 100% of the roles they have in all their European offices are ML-related roles, on most products. And they hire without ML experience, which I think is a sign of how much they are investing in ML.

Weird. I'm having the opposite experience, where I'm not having luck finding an ML team, even with research experience. What teams/products are hiring for ML-related roles without experience?


email me and I'll send you the email of the recruiter I told to.


They bought Songza a while ago. The playlist for certain times of day, events etc. all are available on GPM on my phone, but not on AndroidTV. It is ridiculous.

Why are Google Apps always so unfinished and not thought through?


So what are they actually doing with all this ML, or is it just an effort to keep people with those skills from working for competition?


I reread this multiple times, and not getting it. ( As with pretty much all things google does, apart from its search engine )

So does it stop me from just watching Music Video for free on Youtube?

If not, then why would I subscribe?

Surely I must be missing something here.


you can't play youtube videos _and_ run another app at the same time (background play) without paying.


... or using the strangely named "newpipe"


Or using Firefox for Android with the Video Background Play Fix addon: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/video-backgro...


None of those offer a nice feature I have in the current YouTube Red app: an offline mixtape, which is actually dynamically generated once a day or so. I like it because I can find a song, and listen to it multiple times on my computer, and it'll be the app will automatically download it afterwards.


The recode[0] and cnet[1] articles have some additional details that people seem to be asking about here.

> In a briefing this week, the company promised it will be closing gaps between the two services over the next month, so Google Play Music members don't lose the features they've grown accustomed to, including a cloud-based MP3 storage locker.

* Anyone paying today will be grandfathered in at their current price into Youtube Premium. If you aren't paying, Music will cost $10, Premium will be $12 for new subscribers.

[0] https://www.recode.net/2018/5/16/17363334/youtube-music-laun...

[1] https://www.cnet.com/news/youtube-music-is-googles-latest-st...


Why can't I cast a Youtube video's audio to chromecast audio? The only way is to share the whole screen which burns battery and causes skipping if your wifi isn't perfect.


Because copyright holders don't allow you to. They want you to pay for music and not listen to it for free on YouTube.

This is why any kind of videoless playback is disabled without Red subscription.


Chromecast audio for youtube doesn't work even if you pay for google music (includes youtube red).

My theory is that it's too hard to get video/audio sync like that, so they don't allow it. Same for sending youtube audio to Sonos.

Copyright holders still might be the reason though.


Yeah, YouTube Music does work though. Inability to listen to talks et al. via only audio is really annoying me too though.


Maybe there's more to it. The YT API also does not allow to present Video Streams (Audio/Video) separately.


I think you need premium.


If it'll let me play YouTube audio on my Sonos it'd be a great feature. Otherwise I'm not quite getting the value.

Workaround for this is to buy an HDMI splitter and send the audio to a sound system then use Chromecast, but Sonos is just so convenient.


The best part about music on youtube is all of the songs uploaded by people who don't have the rights... and for some reason don't get them taken down, despite often monetizing them.

Will be interesting to see how this fits into their new model.


The rights owners get a cut of the monetisation too, so it gives a reason to leave them there.


How long until it's discontinued?

Oh, and btw, with tools like NewPipe, I can listen without ads.


NewPipe is brilliant! I don't even care so much about the ads(still HATE ads), but the interface is superior in almost every way. The YouTube app, as with all of Google's clunky Android apps, takes several seconds to load, is slow, cluttered, and annoys me with notifications for "trending" videos. It's the second worst Google app to Maps, which is embarrassingly slow and gets worse with every update.

NewPipe, on the other hand, has a low memory footprint, boots up immediately, has a clean interface, doesn't remove features, lets me queue up videos in the background, lets me choose audio-only, etc. The only thing it's missing is Chromecast, but then again I haven't updated NewPipe in a while, and Chromecast kinda blows anyway.

I'd say Google should just discontinue the YouTube app and use the NewPipe codebase, but I won't say that because I know they'd destroy it.

NewPipe literally blows people's minds when I show it to them. They can't grasp how there can be another app for YouTube that's better. Sadly, these people are too afraid to use F-Droid, even though the Play Store has its share of malicious software.


I don't have a Chromecast, so no idea how well this works, but you could probably install VLC and tell NewPipe to "Use external video player" (in the settings) and then have VLC send it over to your Chromecast.

One big problem with this that I can tell you about right away, is that you only get 720p. NewPipe deals with some DRM bullshit to allow playing of higher resolutions, which VLC does not do.


I only discovered NewPipe recently and it's a really great app. For those unaware NewPipe is an alternate YouTube app on F-Droid which has loads of nifty features such as being able to play the audio of videos in the background so you can shut off the screen. It will even handle subscriptions for you without any sign in.

https://newpipe.schabi.org/

https://f-droid.org/en/packages/org.schabi.newpipe/


> Oh, and btw, with tools like NewPipe, I can listen without ads.

Just remember that for copyright holders of those songs you're effectively doing the same thing as just torrenting the mp3. ;)


Probably never, if you think about it instead of falling back to a meme.

With tool like guns, I can get my my groceries without paying money. But that’s not very relevant to the general grocery experience.


Just a suggestion, why not just allow background playback instead of spending your millions on another streaming app which would be ideally better than competition in single digit %s?


Background playback has been available with YouTube Red/Premium for years.


I'm worried about using a service like this after Youtube started censoring videos that don't match their political ideology. Will YouTube Music be censoring songs that have references to guns? Are they going to randomly demonetize songs that use bad language? Why not just use Spotify then?


The competition is fierce enough in this field that that's not really an option for them


Google Play Music never really made playing uncensored music work, and that never bothered them.

If you uploaded tracks you'd frequently get the radio edit played back.


Who is also censoring based on their ideology...


Spotify.

https://newsroom.spotify.com/2018-05-10/spotify-announces-ne...

Although they aren't removing music or changing it, they just don't put it in their curated or autogenerated playlists.


Loyal YouTube Red subscriber here. I don't care about music. I have Spotify for that. All I want is for them to unbreak Chromecast in the new desktop interface.


All I need is the ability to listen to the audio of YT videos with my phone screen off.


NewPipe has a "background mode". There's a short hiccup when you switch to "background mode" but you can still control it from there so it's not so bad.

I find it shocking that Google is permitted to charge money for a feature like that, when as far as I can tell most of the music on Youtube was uploaded without permission of the copyright owner.


I mean, they're not, according to their own ToS (or even their own interpretation of it).

It says something in there along the lines of video and audio may not be separated. On the basis of which, they ran a witch hunt on all 3rd party YouTube apps on the Play Store, which had a background playback feature.

This in itself makes no sense, as separating video and audio during playback had always been possible on the desktop by simply switching to a different tab in your browser or minimizing the window.

But obviously, this wasn't about showing integrity. They published YouTube Red with its background playback feature just a few months after this witchhunt.

And since the Play Store is their property, they didn't even need a legitimate basis for throwing these apps out. They own the market, so they were able to just shut out the competition.

Don't build your life on Google property...


YouTub Red gives you that... If it's available in your country..


YouTube Red (now YouTube Premium) allows this.


Something they should have done long back, I had to use other Youtube apps just to listen to music in backgroud


I've uninstalled the Youtube app because of this, I understand the business case for it but making the video stop when the app isn't focused is making the Youtube app utterly pointless.

The app looks beautiful and obviously they took a lot of effort to build it but this small detail makes it completely unusable unfortunately.


I'm not sure your exact use case, but if you are a Youtube red subscriber, the official IOS app continues to play audio if the app is in the background.


Ah really? I'm on Android and don't have a Youtube account at all. I mean the app should work the same way as desktop, the video does not stop when I switch tabs on my browser...

I understand that they are trying to sell Youtube Red this way but there's probably a better way than sabotaging their own app.


I think the reality of why they do this is to stop people using YouTube as a free music player, which unfortunately is a very common usage.

It's a shame this restricts other youtube videos too though, such as creators / original content / etc. I'd really also love to use Picture-in-Picture on iOS.


I can definitely see their reasoning, but like you, I don't like it. There's times where I really just want to listen to something and not need the video without it being music.

As for the Picture-in-Picture, there is a somewhat hacky solution. If you go to the video in Safari and install Pipifier (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pipifier-pip-for-every-web-v...) you can use it to start Picture-in-Picture. I don't use it that often due to the extra steps involved, but it does work.


On Android there is a better YouTube client available called NewPipe. It's FOSS and you can get it on F-Droid. It enables you to play music in the background along with other features.


What about the existing YT music app that has been around for a while?

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