YouTube Music is launching a new TikTok-style short-form personalized video feed called “Samples,” the company announced on Monday. Each clip in the feed offers a glimpse into the artist, music video and feel of a song recommended to you. As with TikTok and other copycat short-form video feeds, users can swipe vertically in the new Samples feed to discover songs and music videos.
Brandon Bilinski, one of YouTube’s directors of product management, told TechCrunch in an interview that the company is seeing that users are discovering more and more music through short-form video.
“One of the biggest insights we’ve seen over the past couple of years is that all users but especially younger users are discovering more and more music through short-form video,” Bilinski said. “Friends and family is always number one. If you ask people how they discover music, they always say friends and family, but just recently short-form video climbed into a close number two. We sort of took that insight and we decided to make a discovery focused, short-form video experience solely focused around music.”
The Samples feed leverages YouTube’s catalog of official music videos and live footage to power the feed. Instead of simply swiping through countless songs, the feed also encourages users to interact with the song and click through to watch an entire music video or recording of a live performance. So, in other words, YouTube Music is using short-form video clips to promote the discovery of long-form video content on the platform, while also helping users discover new music.
When swiping through the feed, users can add a song to their collection, share it with others, create a playlist, visit the album page, kick off a new radio station or use the song to create a Short.
“The feed is sort of an all-encompassing collection of related music to your tastes,” Bilinski said. “The focus is on discovery, but based on what you listen to. It’s pretty diverse, as long as the user’s tastes are diverse. And then we also want to show you stuff you haven’t seen before or listened to before. We will also show you some videos from music you’ve listened to before if you haven’t seen the video.”
The launch of the new feed is similar to the TikTok-style discovery feeds that Spotify rolled out earlier this year. The feeds allow users to preview an album, playlist or single by combining a track’s audio with video. The concept behind both YouTube Music and Spotify’s feeds is discovery through a visual aspect in a way that borrows from TikTok’s popular format.
When asked if YouTube Music plans to launch additional video feeds, Bilinski said the company is investigating it as a next step, but noted that YouTube Music wanted to start with a broad and simple feed first before rolling out more. YouTube Music plans to explore how this type of short-form discovery can be incorporated in other parts of the app and look to roll out new experiences that make it easy to discover new artists and their music.
The new Samples tab is beginning to roll out today to YouTube Music users on both iOS and Android globally.