When you buy a smart speaker or smart display, listening to music is one of the primary uses, right? There are tons of services out there already that offer a bit of playback for free, and to be fair, they already work just fine with the family of Google Assistant speakers.
Spotify, Pandora, and Google Play Music all have free listening options and all work just fine with Google Home. As a matter of fact, if you follow the same process we’re outlining here, you can get those set up as well assuming you already have a Pandora or Spotify account up and running. The benefit with using YouTube Music over Google Play Music is the fact that it will be around for the long haul.
Google is clearly on the path of moving their music service over to YouTube Music for the future, so if you are going through the setup process for a free service, there’s really no reason to set up Google Play Music over YouTube Music at this point. With services like Pandora or Spotify, you will need to create an account with them and then link up that account to your Google Home account. If you are looking for a quick way to just play some basic playlists or radio based on an artist, YouTube Music is the way to go.
Keep in mind that if you want to have personal playlists, library saves, or the ability to play back albums or particlular songs, you’ll need to upgrade to the YouTube Music Premium service ($9.99/mo.) to take advantage of those features. The nice part is that if you go with YouTube Premium ($11.99/mo.) for a couple more dollars a month, you also get ad-free YouTube as well.
How To Get Started
Assuming you already have a Google Home speaker or two (or three or four), you simply need to go to the Google Home app and under your profile settings select the Services tab and then select Music. Up top, you’ll see YouTube Music and Google Play Music as two free options and the other services listed below those. Select YouTube Music and you’ll now be able to ask your Google Home speaker to play music for you without any further setup.
This is a nice move on Google’s part even if it is a bit of a necessity. As Google fully ramps up support for YouTube Music moving forward, they have to have everything Google Play Music offers and more before shutting down their only real alternative service. I’ve been slowly moving my use over to YouTube Music and am finding that I like it just about as well as Google Play Music, but there are a few albums missing here and there and a few small features that don’t quite work the same.
With moves like this one, I’m hopeful that Google will round out YouTube Music fully before the lights go out over at Google Play Music for good.