October marks the primary anniversary of the dying of Google Play Music, leaving solely the unhappy shadow of a alternative music service, YouTube Music, in Google’s ecosystem. YouTube Music is exhibiting simply how far behind the streaming music wars it’s with the announcement of a brand new function: background music playback. Beforehand, enjoying a streaming track on the ad-supported YouTube Music app would solely work for those who had the app open—navigating to one thing else in your telephone would cease the music. Now, 5 years after the service’s launch and one yr after the shutdown of Google Play Music, you should utilize YouTube Music like—properly—a music app with out paying for YouTube Premium.

One final element: this extraordinarily fundamental function is barely rolling out to Canada subsequent month. For now, everybody else nonetheless cannot use YouTube Music like a daily streaming music app with out paying for the service. Google says that free background playback can be out there to “listeners all over the world” sooner or later, nevertheless it hasn’t mentioned when.

SoundCloud and Spotify supply free background streaming—as did Google Play Music earlier than it was shut down—however YouTube Music hasn’t been capable of replicate that function for the previous 5 years. Subscribers to the $9.99 YouTube Music Premium have been capable of play music within the background, and the function is accessible for music you have uploaded your self. However for those who have been listening to the ad-supported streaming catalog, the music simply stopped within the background.

The free tier of YouTube additionally limits background playback, and YouTube Music’s tangled connection to YouTube is our greatest guess for why YouTube Music has been so sluggish to undertake this function. YouTube’s music deal in all probability hasn’t allowed for background playback with out paying further, and since music offers are negotiated by nation, it is sensible {that a} YouTube Music renegotiation would roll out on a country-by-country foundation, with Canada being first.

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