YouTube Music Adds a Vertical Video Scroll Called ‘Samples’

YouTube Music is adding Samples, a discovery feature that lets users scroll by swiping vertically, similar to TikTok’s signature video feed. Described as “the appetizer to a whole meal,” Samples is comprised of 30-second teasers, but quickly lets users add the entire song to a playlist or share it with friends, all “without leaving YouTube Music,” the Google-owned company informs, suggesting fans “kick off a great new radio station, watch the full video, visit the album page, or even use the song to create your own Short.” Rolling out globally in stages, the Samples tab will appear at the bottom of the YouTube Music app next to the Home, Library and Explore sections.

“Tapping Samples automatically starts a short vertical video clip of a song that YouTube Music thinks you’ll like,” explains Engadget, noting that it pulls “songs based on your taste profile, with an emphasis on artists that you like, and related ones who you might not have heard before.”

Samples lets people toggle between audio-only and video versions of a song, something YouTube Music does, too.

YouTube Music already had features like Supermix and Discover to suggest songs based on listening habits, but Engadget writes that Samples uses a different algorithm “highlighting artists that you may be familiar with but pulling clips you haven’t watched before.”

YouTube Music Product Manager Gregor Dodson tells Engadget that “short form video [and] the infinite scroll have really interesting applications in music discovery,” which is particularly meaningful when it comes to navigating what YouTube says in a blog post is “the world’s largest catalog of music videos.”

“It’s a simple way to discover new music, but it’s not the end of the journey — it’s just the start of finding a new artist or song,” explains Dodson.

“Spotify added its own vertical video feed recently, but that’s less for discovery and more to offer a way to quickly scroll through previews of songs in its playlists,” Engadget writes, suggesting that with Spotify and YouTube Music implementing the new format, it’s likely “we’ll see more apps do the same soon.”

While they all emulate TikTok, it’s not merely a matter of design, but a play for the Gen Z audience, according to Wired, which writes that “users don’t just turn to TikTok for entertainment. They also see it as a way to search for information and find cool artists.”

“As social media apps overtake radio as the key discovery platform for new music, every app is now working to get up to speed, and integrate more music discovery options into their UI,” observes Social Media Today.

Amazon Music Unlimited Prices Are Going Up for Prime Members, Variety, 8/15/23

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