YouTube To Take On Spotify & Apple Music – DJs Take Note

Phil Morse | Read time: 2 mins
Pro streaming music youtube YouTube Music
Last updated 17 May, 2018


We all go to YouTube when we want to hear a track quickly, right? You just know it’s going to be on there, whatever it is. Even though YouTube is a video platform, more music is played on YouTube than on Spotify, Apple Music and every other audio streaming platform combined.

Because of that, and because YouTube’s search is powered by Google (making it the biggest and easiest to use music search engine in the world), what the company has just announced is kind of a big deal: YouTube is about to relaunch its YouTube Music service as a full-on music platform to compete with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music.

The deal will be familiar to users of those other services: There is a free option with ads and limitations, but once you pay $10 to $12 a month, it unlocks the full product. It’s coming first in five countries and then shortly across much of the world.

You play music via the services’s apps/site and through its software on your Mac or PC, from which you can search, make playlists and listen to full albums, new releases, back catalogue and so on. Being YouTube, there’s a video option too, and there’s also the option to download locally, for listening without an internet connection (this will likely be within YouTube’s apps only at first).

Why this is potentially important for DJs

While “DJing from YouTube” (along with train-crashing sync mixes and using cracked software) is a sure sign of rookie DJs and never to be encouraged or condoned, potentially this is the start of an interesting road for the modern DJ.

Firstly, YouTube will have to sort out the quality issue for music – “YouTube rips” are notoriously bad quality (not to mention illegal), but any desktop music service calling on the service’s catalogue will need to ensure a minimum audio standard. That in itself would be a good thing for those impromptu YouTube sessions.

But if the next step were for an enterprising DJ software company to do a deal with YouTube to plug this catalogue directly into DJ software – well, it’s not hard to make the mental leap, is it? Biggest music catalogue in the world? First place any of us go to simply “hear” (rather than download, or buy) music, now inside DJ software? Downloaded music files and videos right there in DJ software, making it possible to DJ away from the internet with YouTube’s complete library? Sounds exciting to us.

DJs tend to worry that streaming means relying on working internet at their gigs (wrong, at least for pro implementations – see Pulselocker/Beatport), or that it would be bad to rely on it as the music available may change (a valid concern currently).

But make no mistake: The idea of purchasing music downloads is all-but dead for consumers already, and streaming is already the norm. Us DJs won’t escape it in the coming years. With YouTube in the game too, it’s all coming that bit quicker.

Somewhere in a DJ software company R&D department, someone is planning plugging this in to their app now – maybe they’ve even road mapped it.

Interesting times ahead…

Are you excited for a YouTube streaming music/video service? Would you use this if it were plugged into your DJ software? Let us know your thoughts below…

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