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.
YouTube is the latest to add another music discovery element, with a new “Samples” feature for YouTube Music, which will help users find new artists and tracks of interest, by letting them play small snippets of the latest trending tracks, aligned with their listening habits.
The new Samples tab essentially uses short-form video as a direct music discovery element, by providing a feed of short clips from trending songs to pique your interest.
As per YouTube:
“Powered by the world’s largest catalog of music videos, this personalized feed will explore the depths and breadth of the YouTube Music library so that there’s always something new to listen to, whether it’s the latest release from an up-and-coming artist or a deep cut from a legacy artist we just think you’d really like. Each immersive clip offers a glimpse into the artist, the video, and the feel of the song.”
So rather than relying on the latest TikTok trends to discover the next big hit, Samples is focused on the music specifically, with users able to swipe vertically to go through all the latest tracks in their favorite niche.
And when you find a track that you like, you can add the song to your collection, share it with friends, or watch the full clip, all in-stream.
It’s a good way to use the TikTok format to improve music discovery, especially given that this is now how a lot of users are attuned to finding new artists and music, in an endless, scrollable feed.
So, in essence, it’s TikTok, but for music only. Which, again, given the role that social platforms now play in modern music discovery, makes a lot of sense.
These days, artists and record labels are even creating tracks in alignment with short-form video trends, in order to maximize their success, and it stands to reason that you really need to be crossing viral thresholds on TikTok to achieve mass consumption.
YouTube, which has Shorts, is likely a lesser consideration in this respect, but within YouTube Music, this is a smart and logical progression, which could have a big impact.
YouTube says that the Samples tab is being rolled out to all YouTube Music users from today.