March 6, 2013 at 5:30 pm

How To Use YouTube Like a Music Service… Today

Google and YouTube are working on at least one subscription music service to complement YouTube (free music videos) and Google Music (free music locker and download store). Our theory is that this is because some label(s) are pressuring Google into the music subscription space by threatening to withhold their music from YouTube. We think we’re right about that, in part because the kids already think YouTube is a music service anyway — it just doesn’t have a subscription tier yet.

However, you can already use YouTube like a music service right now, browsing by any artist or album on the site — just like you would with Rdio, Spotify, iTunes and so on. Here’s how:

1. Search for a song

At this point, YouTube doesn’t seem to have a public page that lets you browse all of its artists, so in order to try this trick, you must first search the general site for the artist you’re interested in playing on YouTube. In this case, I’ll search for Javelin, because it’s my brother and my cousin (who released a great new album this week, bee tee dubs).

2. Open a video by the artist you seek

If you do this for a band that is officially recognized by YouTube, you’ll see a link for there name right about here:

youtube music

3. Click on the artist name

See that artist name, like the one in the above picture? Yeah, smartypants, that’s what you want to click, but of course you already knew that.

4. Behold the glory of artist and album browsing on YouTube!

You will be able to see every song, and even album recognized by YouTube, all in one neat, handy place. You can make them into playlists for sharing, and enjoy with no limits. We recommend listening to them at the best possible sound quality, while you’re at it.

youtube artist page

On our example’s page, you can see 14 songs and one album. It’s not everything, but it’s not nothing, either, and it’s all free and unlimited. You can even subscribe to the artist, if you want to see their new stuff pop up in your YouTube video feed. Meanwhile, on the right side of the page, you can see similar artists, to find more stuff to listen to and subscribe to.

For now, these videos contain whatever ads the artists or labels who own the copyright want to include, and YouTube splits the proceeds with them. Later this year, if you subscribe to the music service YouTube is launching, you’ll apparently be able to listen to it all without encountering any advertising at all.

(via Lucas Gonze, retweeted by Matt Laszuk)

  • http://barryeuphorik.tumblr.com/ Barry Euphorik

    Ive been using Youtube for a while for searching new music releases. More and more people are now using Youtube in this way.

  • http://letsloop.com/Rick Richard Deans

    This is great, thanks Eliot. This functionality also exists over at Let’s Loop, where you can listen to YouTube songs (and seamless album playlists) for any artist in the iTunes store. If their discography isn’t available in iTunes you can still loop (share) it This Is My Jam style. Here’s the Javelin page, just head to the Music tab and click play to see it in action: http://www.letsloop.com/artist/javelin

  • http://letsloop.com/Rick Richard Deans

    This is great, thanks Eliot. This functionality also exists over at Let’s Loop, where you can listen to YouTube songs (and seamless album playlists) for any artist in the iTunes store. If their discography isn’t available in iTunes you can still loop (share) it This Is My Jam style. Here’s the Javelin page, just head to the Music tab and click play to see it in action: http://www.letsloop.com/artist/javelin