New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on November 11, 2021) follows:

YouTube has evolved from just a video-sharing website to an entertainment hub in the last few years. The Google-owned company has transformed itself into a platform where everyone from around the world uploads millions of videos every day.

This has allowed new and young music artists to make a name for themselves in an industry where one couldn’t release a track without a music label backing up the artist.


Unsurprisingly, YouTube has become a platform for those who want to share their music with the rest of the world. As a result, the company announced YouTube Music in 2018, which replaced the much-loved Google Play Music.

The company recently introduced a background playback feature similar to the YouTube app that lets users listen to their favorite music even when the screen is off. Moreover, Google said that YouTube Music background playback functionality will be available for free for all in Canada November 3 onwards.

However, Canadian users are now reporting that they are unable to use the feature. Many say they have already tried reinstalling the app, clearing cache, rebooting, and updating the YouTube Music app but nothing seems to work.

I am closely observing the roll-out of this update and since yesterday, I found no one who can confirm they got this new version/update with free background playing feature. Not on iPhone, not on iPAD, or my android phone. What a big disappointment! YouTubeMusic’s twitter handle keep mocking users by saying ‘Oh shoot, did you trying restarting your device?’ and ‘Welp, how about reinstalling the app?’ I did everything and this still won’t work. So my question remains…. where did the update/new version go?

I am trying to play youtube music in the background for free. Team youtube tweated that November 3 there will be an update with free background play coming with it :
So ive been checking back all day fir the background play and theres nothing about it that ive seen. So how can i activate it or when is it coming ? Im in Canada

From the looks of it and according to a Google Platinum Product Expert, it seems like Google did not make the feature available on November 3 for all but is slowly rolling it out for users.

YouTube has also acknowledged the issue and said that it is currently under investigation.


In the meantime, those living in Canada will have to wait a few more days before they can enjoy the free background playback feature on YouTube Music. Nonetheless, we’ll keep an active track of the developments on this one and update the story, as and when required.

Update 1 (November 12, 2021)

06:00 pm (IST): In case you still haven’t been able to use the feature, you might find some solace knowing that the feature is rolling out in batches rather than going live for everyone in the country at the same time, as confirmed by YouTube support.

Following up – the free background play feature has slowly begun rolling out to YouTube Music listeners in Canada, and will continue to roll out to everyone over the next several days. (Source)

Update 2 (November 16, 2021)

1:14 pm (IST): YouTube has since come out to provide a possible workaround for YT Music users facing this issue.

We’ve seen similar reports and our team is looking into it. Mind going to the YouTube app’s Account menu > Settings > General > Picture-in-picture and make sure it’s turned off? If that doesn’t fix it, let us know your device’s model and OS version. Thanks!

Update 3 (September 13, 2023)

5:17 pm (IST): YouTube Music currently has no plans to expand the free background play feature beyond Canada. However, podcasts can be listened to with background play and on-demand in regions like the United States, Latin America, and Canada.

We launched this to our listeners in Canada back in 2021 but have no plans for regional expansions just yet. Note: Podcasts (currently available in the Americas – including Latin America & Canada) can already be enjoyed on-demand & in the background.(Source)

Note: We have more such stories in our dedicated YouTube Section so be sure to follow them as well.

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Anurag Chawake
1373 Posts

My fascination with technology and computers goes back to the days of Windows XP. Since then, I have been tinkering with OS, mobile phones, and other things. When I am not working on anything, you will find me enjoying video games on some Discord server.

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