Free YouTube Music users are being encouraged to subscribe with new ‘Upgrade’ tab

Those that don’t pay for YouTube Music are either using it for the cloud locker or as a lighter YouTube client just for songs. Free YouTube Music users are now seeing a prominent “Upgrade” tab in the bottom bar.

Without a subscription, YouTube Music will serve the audio version of songs but prefaced by a short video ad. There’s also a higher likelihood that you’ll get the music video version. The app must be open (and device screen turned on) when listening/watching as exiting ends all playback. Users also cannot download tracks for offline access.

That said, you can just upload your library and listen to that collection exclusively. Google in recent weeks has worked to bring over many features for cloud locker users.

Those free users are now encountering an “Upgrade” tab to the right of “Library,” bringing the bottom bar to four items. This page is entirely focused on encouraging subscriptions and joins an existing message in the profile menu.

In the grand scheme, it’s more subtle than other prompts, but it does break muscle memory in regards to the Library tab’s location, which is heavily used by uploaders to browse content. 

The YouTube Music Upgrade tab started rolling out earlier this week and is now widely available.

More about YouTube Music:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel



Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

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