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YouTube Music is free on Google Home, if you don't mind ads

Hey Google, play 'Rewind.'

Starting today, YouTube Music is offering a free, ad-supported experience on Google Home speakers and other Google Assistant-powered speakers. Just navigate to account settings, tap services and select music, then set YouTube Music as the default music service. Then it's just a case of saying "Hey Google, play [whatever]" and you're away. However, the ad-supported YouTube Music experience won't let you request specific songs, albums or playlist. Instead, you can tell it a genre or style or mood of music you're looking for and your Google Home will play a station based on that request.

As before, YouTube Music Premium subscribers can request specific songs, artists and playlists on demand. So while this free experience isn't nearly as flexible as what you get when you're signed up for a subscription, it does give Google something to compete with Spotify and Pandora's free offerings on smart speakers.

Meanwhile, YouTube Music is making inroads elsewhere despite its relatively late arrival to the streaming scene, arriving on Sonos and the Google Clock app for Android earlier this year, and pushing forward with its event partnerships.