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YouTube Music adds TikTok-style discovery feed

By | Published on Wednesday 16 August 2023

YouTube Music has added a new feature called Samples which is basically a personalised feed of short form videos that direct users to full tracks and videos elsewhere on the platform.

So, it’s a TikTok-style feed within YouTube Music. Or, I’m sure YouTube would prefer me to say, a YouTube Shorts-style feed. Not least because users can take musical snippets that pop up in the Samples feed and use them in their own YouTube Shorts videos.

However, unlike TikTok and Shorts, the Samples feed is all about discovery, rather than being a content destination in its own right. “We didn’t build this experience to be a means to an end in itself, but instead to be the appetiser to a whole meal”, says Director Of Product Management at YouTube Music, T Jay Fowler.

“We wanted to make it as easy as possible for you to dive deeper into the songs and artists you discover and love all without leaving YouTube Music”, he goes on. “And for artists, the Samples tab provides another way to find a new audience and build a community on YouTube”.

YouTube’s music chief Lyor Cohen has always been keen to talk up the ways in which the different strands of YouTube connect, reckoning that gives his platform the edge over the TikToks and Instagrams of this world when it comes to artists building and engaging fanbases.

Running with that narrative, Fowler concludes: “This is yet another example of how YouTube’s unique combination of music videos, live performances, music premieres and Shorts inspires real, devoted fandom, which is the key to making our platform the best place for every artist and music fan”.

Spotify, of course, has also been experimenting with how it can use a TikTok-style feed to power discovery within its app. And we probably don’t have to refer to that as YouTube Shorts-style.