PSA: YouTube Music incompatible with Google Home/Assistant in most markets
YouTube Music – Google’s music streaming service – was launched back in May.
First wave of roll out opened up the service to people in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea, with the promise to reach out soon to those in Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.
While in markets like the US and Australia, the functionality works as expected, in regions like the UK, France and many others, subscribers – of YouTube Music or YouTube Premium (which includes YouTube Music) – have come across a nasty surprise.
Users with Assistant-powered devices (like Google Home) who subscribed for YouTube Music/Premium presuming that the service will work with their device are now complaining (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10) that their smart speaker units do not recognize YouTube Music.
Going by user reports, when asked to play music, Assistant doesn’t list YouTube Music as an option. As you can see in the following screenshot, only YouTube is displayed as the available source (and since standard YouTube is all video, Google Home won’t play that).
This incompatibility also means, for users outside of the US (as well as a couple of other markets), there’s no option to set up YouTube Music as the default music service on Google Home.
We can’t blame users here, as the service’s launch announcement did not explicitly mention whether or not the ability to accept voice commands will be limited to certain regions.
Though the company did not give a clear picture initially (costing many users the subscription fee for a service not yet offering complete set of features in their region), now they are clearing the air and telling the complainants the following:
Gotcha. While YouTube Music has now launched in the UK, it's yet to be supported as a provider for your Google Home ― be sure to follow us for updates! Here's an article for more info about music on Google Home: https://t.co/eQrCvgoEXf
— Made by Google (@madebygoogle) June 28, 2018
Gotcha. YouTube Music on Google Home is only available in the US and Australia. We don't have additional news to share, but we're always looking for ways to improve. Follow us for more updates.
— Made by Google (@madebygoogle) June 23, 2018
One of the Top Contributors (one Google Home Help Forum) also repeated the same, while offering a workaround as well:
Voice commands for YouTube Music are only available for US, Australia and Mexico currently. I don’t know when further countries will be rolled out.
There is a workaround. The YouTube Music app has a cast button. I’m able to cast from the app to my preferred Google Home device, after which voice commands seem to work. I’ve not used this extensively, it’s possible it’s not flawless, but you may like to try it as a workaround whilst you wait.
For the record, the official Google Home Help page states that YouTube Music can be set as the default music service for Google Home only in the US and Australia currently.
But we don’t know whether the support page was silently updated recently or it contained this information from day one. However, we fail to understand why did the company not clarify at the time of launch that YouTube Music is yet to be integrated with Google Home (and likely other services such as Android Auto) for most countries.
Had users known this limitation, at least they wouldn’t have subscribed to the service until the feature is made available. Anyway, rest assured, we’ll let you know when the compatibility is rolled out, so keep watching this space.
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