Can YouTube Music play in the background?

Image Credit: YouTube Music

Does YouTube Music play in the background if you leave the streaming app on your phone?

Can YouTube Music play in the background on your device? Yes! Previously only available to those signed up to YouTube Music Premium, YouTube recently announced the rollout of background play to YouTube Music free users.

We’re always looking to multitask when streaming music on our devices, and having songs continue to play as you check your DM’s or switch to a fitness app is a simple thing that really enhances usability. When you’re choosing which streaming service out of the crowded market to give your hard-earned money to, features like background play become deciding factors.


How to have YouTube Music play in background

YouTube Music background listening

For YouTube Music Premium subscribers, simply switch to another app or turn off your screen, and the content will keep playing. The feature has always been available as a premium feature for paying users.

Somewhat controversially, YouTube Music free users are now getting background play, too. In October 2021 YouTube announced the rollout of background listening to freemium listeners, beginning in Canada and spreading worldwide.

YouTube Music free users are still only able to play personalized playlists and have to put up with advertisements that interrupt listening.


Did you know you can put your own songs on YouTube Music for free with RouteNote? Head here to find out how to upload your songs to streaming services.

I write about music for RouteNote, sharing fun stuff, news, and tips and tricks for musicians and producers. Also a saxophonist and hater of marmalade.

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