New York: YouTube on Thursday entered the increasingly crowded field of music streaming, hoping to reach a new audience through a user-friendly service that seizes on the video giant's vast variety.
Called YouTube Music, the platform will offer songs both with and without video, and users will be able to switch instantly to an audio-only mode.
In a feature it hopes to be a key selling point, YouTube Music will create non-stop stations tailored to users, who can fine-tune how much variety they want.
YouTube, the world's third most popular website after its parent company Google and Facebook, aims to take advantage of its quirky possibilities by offering artists' original tracks alongside cover versions, live footage and user-generated content.
T. Jay Fowler, the director of product development who was involved in earlier services Beats Music and MOG, said he hoped to draw more people to streaming instead of simply competing with other companies.
"I'm excited about being additive to the market, rather than just moving users through an ecosystem of apps," he told AFP.
The video behemoth on October 28 launched YouTube Red, a premium service that allows advertisement-free access to subscribers.
YouTube Music -- which was announced alongside YouTube Red without full details or a launch date -- is compatible both with Google's Android system and Apple and will initially be available only in the United States.
The streaming service will be free but will come without advertisements for subscribers to YouTube Red, which costs $9.99 a month.
Google will still operate its audio-driven Google Play Music streaming service, with YouTube Music expecting some users to use both platforms.
Streaming -- which allows unlimited online music on-demand -- has been rapidly growing. Universal Music Group, the largest label conglomerate, said Tuesday that for the first time more than half its digital revenue came from streaming in the latest quarter.