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YouTube Music on Android TV gets ‘app’ for direct homescreen access

Last month, the full YouTube app on Android TV gained a dedicated “Music” section. Google is now offering a direct shortcut to that experience with a new YouTube Music “app.”

Today, you get to YouTube Music on Android TV by scrolling through the YouTube app’s sidebar. While it’s the third icon in the list, Google is now offering a more direct way of accessing the carousel of albums, playlists, and music video suggestions.

Searching for “YouTube Music” on the Play Store surfaces a new listing. It downloads quickly as it is nothing more than a shortcut that adds a YouTube Music icon to the apps carousel.

That said, it leaves much to be desired as the experience remains quite basic — lacking features like music search and background playback — and being nothing more than a section within the broader YouTube application. My colleague Ben Schoon speculate the reason behind this approach:

Why did Google opt for this bizarre integration? I’d wager that it’s because YouTube’s Android TV app is essentially the same one found on Roku, smart TVs, game consoles, and other platforms. Eventually, all of those platforms will likely see this same Music integration.

YouTube Music would do well to get a dedicated app down the road. When searching Google Play, it does not appear as the first result so try scrolling the carousel until you come across the familiar icon.

Google today also made official the YouTube Music integration in Google Maps that we first spotted last in June, noting that it requires a paid Premium subscription. There’s also a new “Hey Google, play recommended music from YouTube Music” Assistant command that currently only works on Nest speakers. It specifically provides “personalized music suggestions across your favorite artists and genres based on your listening history.”

More about YouTube Music:

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: