YouTube Music update enables search by emoji and lyrics

YouTube, Music, Emojis, App

Spotify and Apple Music are large platforms that enable well over 100 million people to stream music every month, but their subscriber numbers pale in comparison to the number of people that visit YouTube for music videos and song streams. According to a corporate blog post from this past May, the company claims that over 1 billion people use the service to be part of music culture and discover new music. That’s roughly 14% of the total world population!

That explains why YouTube launched an app catered explicitly to music fans earlier this year. YouTube Music is billed as “a completely reimagined app and desktop product with official albums, playlists, singles and more.” Subscribers pay $10 a month to access ad-free videos, songs, albums, and playlists, as well as recommendations based on their taste. Users can also access their favorite content offline, which mirrors the offline streaming tools made available on major music streaming platforms.

Now, YouTube Music is separating itself from the competition by changing the way people search for material. A recent update to the platform allows subscribers to search using emojis, a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion, as well as song lyrics.

The photo below shows the new update in action. By using the baby emoji and the number one emoji, users can now discover Brittany Spears’ timeless single “Hit Me Baby (One More Time).” Check it out:

Not sure about the title of the song you’re looking for, but know the word “bee” appears in it somewhere? Emoji search can help you there as well:

Looking for “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” from Disney’s Frozen? Input the ‘snowman’ emoji and search away!

If you’ve got the line from a song stuck in your head but can’t think for the life of you who it’s by or what it is called, with YouTube Music search you can type in the lyrics and if they have the lyrics in their database (they do for most songs) – BOOM! The song will magically appear.

With all the recent developments from Spotify and its competition, YouTube will likely continue to roll out more updates of their own in the coming months. Follow Haulix on Facebook and Twitter for more news, advice, and guidance concerning music marketing in the digital age.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.