YouTube Music’s Listening Room is the exclusive new place to try experimental features

Recruitment for this beta is, unfortunately, closed

We count YouTube Music among the best music streaming apps, and with good reason. It has held its own despite playing second fiddle to the main YouTube app, thanks to a community of listeners, attention from some caring developers at Google, and the regular addition of subtle improvements and new features. Now, YouTube Music is turning to user feedback in a closed beta program to further refine its offering.


The YouTube Music team took to Reddit on Thursday to solicit user input for a beta program it dubbed the Listening Room (via 9to5Google). Enrollment has since been closed due to overwhelming interest, but Google was looking for the most passionate users to help shape the future of YouTube Music, mirroring the public poll it recently performed on Twitter.


Users who were accepted into the program will be given early access to beta features and a free upgrade to the Premium tier of YouTube Music. They will also be invited to a private Discord community where they will be able to interact directly with the YouTube Music product team. While registration has closed, users who applied may not learn if they made the cut until February when Google plans to contact Listening Room members with next steps.

YouTube Music has received praise for its broad selection of remixes and alternate song versions sourced from user uploads to the main YouTube site. Critics have, however, lambasted the app’s relative lack of features when compared to competitors like Spotify and Apple Music. It appears that the YouTube Music design team has heard these complaints for long enough and is now ready to pay closer attention to user feedback. We can only hope this Listening Room program helps the service reach parity with the other streaming music offerings as it’s definitely an intriguing value proposition when paired with an ad-free YouTube Premium account.

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