Youtube to launch free background listening for users

The currently premium-only feature is set to be available to free users in Canada from November.

Some big news has landed from Youtube last week, as the world’s largest video streaming site announces that it will be launching free background listening for its users. What is already a feature for premium subscribers that pay a fee will become a free service for all users. The change will first come into effect as of November 3rd for users in Canada, with plans to rollout the feature in more parts of the world.

What this means is that whilst you are not using the app you can still listen to audio being played in the background. While many streaming apps offer this as a standard feature, it’s been a long awaited upgrade for Youtube’s free users.

The technology has been available for premium subscribers for a while, alongside bonuses like ad-free streaming and offline downloads, these features will remain for premium users only. However the addition of this for free accounts will see users streaming tracks, albums, mixes and podcasts alike, all whilst they use other apps on their device.

The news comes from an announcement on Twitter in which ‘Google Canada’ has 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!”

The question is, will this change to the service cause the desired shift in users from some of YouTube’s music streaming competitors? We’ll have to wait and see.

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