YouTube Music subscribers can finally listen to their music when traveling in an unsupported country.
Tight laws and regulations on who can stream what — and where — are a part of dealing with the music industry. Accordingly, YouTube Music stopped working in unsupported countries, even if you were an active subscriber. That’s one of the biggest complaints about the service for frequent travelers.
YouTube Music users confirmed that their previously downloaded tracks and offline playlists disappeared. These complaints have been ongoing for months on Google’s support forums. But things appear to be changing behind the scenes — at least for now.
At least two different people can confirm using the service in Taiwan and Belarus, according to Android Police. Both countries are currently unsupported for the app. Users who traveled to Puerto Rico and Algeria also confirmed that the service now works there.
Both users confirm they paid for a YouTube Music subscription in a supported country. Both users still see the unsupported country warning, but they can still stream their music. Attempting to access the YouTube Music site in incognito mode gives the standard warning.
Google has never been shy in admitting that travelers will lose access to the app while traveling.
In the service’s launch support documents, Google states that travel to unsupported regions means you cannot access the service.
“YouTube Music Premium is available in the countries/regions listed below. If you leave these countries/regions, you won’t be able to access Premium benefits.”
A revised support document seems to indicate that this proviso may be changing. A new sub-section titled ‘Travel With YouTube Music‘ outlines some different rules. Specifically, it says that music content is available while traveling for six months, while downloads are only available for 30 days.
“Your paid membership benefits (such as offline listening, background play, ad-free listening, etc.) will only apply in the app while you are traveling. These benefits are not currently supported for traveling members in other apps and services.”
Unfortunately, Google’s support documents are often littered all over the place. But the newly updated document with revised travel information seems to reflect the current user experience while traveling.