Beginning on November 3rd, 2021 in Canada, YouTube members will be able to run videos in the background regardless of membership status.
Previously, this feature was only available to premium members. It allows users to stream music while running other apps and while their phone screen is off. Non-premium users will still have to listen to ads while streaming in the background. The new feature applies to personalized radio mixes and the user’s own uploaded content.
In addition to listening to content ad free, premium benefits include offline downloading, as well as the ability to switch between straight audio and music videos.
Google Canada announced the new feature on Twitter, stating, “Music lovers rejoice! Background listening is coming to the YouTube Music app, and Canada will be the first to enjoy this new feature starts Nov 3rd!” Get radio-like listening with your screen off and don’t stop the music!”
When asked about when free background listening will be available to non-premium users in other countries, the company remained vague. “Stay tuned for additional information and expansion plans,” they said.