YouTube Music lands on Google Home speakers

If you’re a Google Home user, you might have greeted the news that Amazon has added a free version of its Amazon Music service to all Alexa devices, with a bit of envy. But fear not: While most of the coverage ended up being about Amazon, Google has been working on its own free version of YouTube Music for Google Home devices as well, and announced it the very same day.

The free, ad-supported version of YouTube Music is available on Google Assistant-powered smart speakers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Japan, the Netherlands, and Austria. Google says more countries are coming soon.

Needless to say, just like Amazon’s free music ploy, the goal is to get people excited enough about the ability to summon their favorite artists and tracks with just their voice, that they’ll be willing to pony up the $10 per month fee for YouTube Music Premium, the ad-free version of the service with additional features like being able to download tracks for offline listening.

The free, ad-supported version of YouTube Music will respond to requests like “Hey Google, play Uptown Funk,” but instead of getting the song itself (which the premium version will deliver), you’ll get a station of songs inspired by the requested song. The free version won’t let you skip tracks, play a previous song, access your YouTube Music playlists directly, or download music. Still, these restrictions aside, having access to YouTube Music’s full catalog via Google Home, for free, is a great way to get your feet wet with a subscription music streaming service, and a great opportunity to compare YouTube Music to Spotify, without signing up for either service.

Of course, what we’d really like to see is Amazon and Google continue to improve their relationship, and follow up their recent agreement to play nicely with YouTube on Amazon devices, and Prime Video on Chromecast, with the addition of ad-supported YouTube Music on Alexa devices, and ad-supported Amazon Music on Google Home devices. As the smart speaker war continues, customers shouldn’t have to worry about which music services go with which devices.

Music

B&H bundles Bose SoundTouch 10 and Amazon Echo Dot in smart speaker deal

The Amazon Echo Dot and the Bose SoundTouch 10 Wireless Music System are some of the best smart speakers in the game. Save $50 at B&H when you bundle both together, and upgrade your audio experience today.
Smart Home

Alexa and Google Home smart speakers bring A.I. to nearly one in three U.S. homes

A new Consumer Technology Association (CTA) study found that 31% of American households own smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home. The growth in smart speaker ownership almost doubled each of the last two years.
Home Theater

Sonos is now compatible with Google Assistant, but Apple Music must wait

Sonos is rolling out a free update to its software that makes its full range of Wi-Fi speakers and components compatible with Google Assistant and gives Sonos One and Beam owners a new voice assistant option.
Smart Home

Amazon Alexa’s Guard is a new security feature to keep your smart home safe

Amazon is rolling out Alexa Guard, a new set of smart home security features enabled by the Alexa digital assistant that allows the speaker to monitor for intrusions or fires, control smart home lighting, and more.
Home Theater

Sonos Beam vs. Sonos Playbar: Which home theater soundbar should you buy?

The Sonos Playbar and Sonos Beam: United by all of the features that make Sonos superb, they're two soundbars intended for very different situations. Which one is right for you? We put them head-to-head to find out.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Amazon Prime Video: A battle of streaming giants

It might seem like Netflix should be your default choice as a streaming video service, but Amazon Prime Video's price and many extra perks make it a compelling alternative. Which one is best for you? Our comparison can help.
Home Theater

Why you can’t buy Car Thing, Spotify’s first hardware device

Spotify created a voice-activated, in-car device that lets you listen to music and podcasts. But Car Thing, as it is known, is not for sale. Instead, it will be used to gather data from a limited set of customers.
Movies & TV

ESPN Plus is a great sports companion. Here's everything you need to know

ESPN's streaming service, ESPN Plus, arrived in 2018, but it isn't a replacement for your ESPN cable channels and it differs from other streaming apps in a few key ways. We answer all of your questions in this guide.
Movies & TV

Tired of Netflix? Here's where to find free movies online, legally

We've spent countless hours digging around the web to find the best sites for streaming free movies online. Not only are all of these sites completely free to use, they're also completely legal and trustworthy.
Deals

Don’t miss your chance to save $700 on a 65-inch Vizio P-Series 4K TV

Walmart has launched a corker of a sale on a 65-inch Vizio 4K TV that's perfect for aspiring cord cutters and satellite fans alike. This deal sends the price plummeting from $1,700 to $1,000.
Deals

This 50-inch Samsung 4K TV is an absolute steal at $420

Need a 4K TV, but on a strict budget? Walmart has the answer: A 50-inch Samsung 4K TV for $330 off. You'll need to act fast to avoid disappointment though, as we've learned that the retailer is running low on stock.
Deals

The best wireless noise-canceling headphones are now on sale

In need of a reliable set of noise-canceling wireless headphones? You've come to the right place — Drop has knocked a cool $70 off the Sony WH-1000XM3, dropping (pun intended) the price of the cans down to a healthier $280.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (May 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

These are the best movies on Hulu right now (May 2019)

From dramas to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.