Thanks to its dedicated user base, the thoughtfulness of certain Google engineers, and the steady stream of updates, the YouTube Music app has managed to survive in the shadow of the flagship YouTube app. To improve its service even further, YouTube Music is now doing a limited beta test to collect data from a small subset of its audience.
On Thursday, the YouTube Music team posted a thread on Reddit asking for feedback on a new beta feature they’re calling the Listening Room. However, similar to the public polls it previously conducted on Twitter, Google was searching for the most enthusiastic people to help decide the future of YouTube Music.
Users who are approved into the program will get a free upgrade to the YouTube Music Premium tier and early access to beta features. They’ll get access to an exclusive Discord server where they can talk to the YouTube Music team in person. Despite the fact that sign-ups are no longer being accepted, Google expects to get in touch with those who have applied for the Listening Room to discuss next steps in February.
Remixes and alternative versions of songs that users have uploaded to the main YouTube site have garnered accolades for YouTube Music. However, the app’s relative lack of capabilities has been criticized by critics who point to Spotify and Apple Music as examples of superior alternatives. It looks that the design team behind YouTube Music has finally had enough customer complaints and is ready to implement some changes in response to them. Combined with an ad-free YouTube Premium subscription, the Listening Room program is a fascinating value proposition, and we can only hope it helps the service catch up to the other streaming music options.