YouTube is Nation's Top Smartphone App for Music

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It's a bummer, because I particularly enjoyed digging into the many different classifications in Google Play Music.

We've been testing an early access version of the new YouTube Music this week and we will have more detailed hands-on impressions in the coming days.

But the announcement of a revamped YouTube Music app has caused some confusion among those who subscribe to Google Play Music, a streaming music service Google launched in 2011 but has struggled to attract subscribers on the level of category leaders Spotify and Apple Music.

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YouTube is gradually rolling out access in the United States, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea starting today, with additional countries (including the United Kingdom and Canada) on the near horizon.

Google also confirmed to The Verge that purchasing music and playing music stored locally will be added at some point.

At the time, it was unclear whether that was in reference to just songs and albums on Play Music that users saved to their libraries or ones directly uploaded. Nevertheless, Google did not give a specific timeline for when YouTube Music will receive the promised updates.

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That means that things like cover songs, parodies, and live performances will remain accessible alongside the official tracks and videos, making YouTube Music an ideal service for immersing yourself in an artist's catalog - and everything else linked to it.

Simple, right? So far, this isn't exactly a smooth start for Google's new music streaming service, and makes me wonder if this will be one of Mountain View's misses, along the lines of its repeated attempts at a serious messenger service. Just like Google Play Music, YouTube will help people listen hard to find music by allowing them to upload their songs on their own. It also places YouTube squarely in the race for music streaming dominance already led by Spotify (75 million subscribers) and Apple Music (50 million paid and free members).

Have you been able to install and run the new YouTube Music?

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Your collection, playlists and preferences will be preserved at migrated to YouTube music for a soft landing. And soon the same may apply to your YouTube history. There is no word when will Google pull the plug on Play Music service. You can visit this page to sign up for the service. In fact, YouTube Music is the fourth attempt. We'll see how that turns out given the firm's current slow roll-out.