YouTube Music Begins Testing a Shorts-Like Music Video Feature in Brazil — Is a Wider Rollout on the Way?

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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo Credit: Agustín Diaz

YouTube Music is reportedly experimenting with a “Samples” short-form feature that would set the stage for music video previews on the streaming service.

YouTube Music’s potential foray into music video clips came to light in a recent Reddit post as well as subsequent reports from outlets including 9to5Google. According to the involved Redditor – who included with the post a Portuguese-language screenshot – select mobile users can currently reach the Google-owned streaming platform’s “Samples” offering via a namesake tab situated at the bottom of the screen.

Positioned between the existing “Home” and “Explore” tabs, per the mentioned screenshot, the “Samples” option when tapped brings one to a music-centered vertical-video page. “Basically a YouTube shorts but only for music videos,” summarized the original poster, who further indicated that he resides in Brazil.

(The major labels are continuing to double down on expanding – and stopping piracy – in Brazil, South America’s largest music industry. Now boasting the ninth-biggest market globally, according to the IFPI, Brazil generates the vast majority of its music revenue from streaming.)

According once again to the individual who spotted Samples, the appropriate “tab simply popped up,” and he hadn’t received a notification or message about the feature beforehand. After fielding questions from interested YouTube Music users, the original poster uploaded a clip of Samples.

Fans can swipe through a seemingly endless selection of music video previews (which showcase various portions of the media at hand – not solely their beginnings) like they would videos on Shorts and other such platforms, per the clip. Song titles and artist names are displayed at the screen’s bottom, and users can with a tap bring up a quick-navigation menu containing shortcuts to acts’ YouTube Music radio channels and options for saving the songs.

Switching back and forth between Samples and different tabs doesn’t appear to disrupt the former’s video, which seems to go ahead and resume playing where it left off. Interestingly, the Redditor’s clip also shows that listeners can seamlessly access entire music videos (as well as related music videos) directly from Samples.

While it’s unclear when (or whether) YouTube Music will formally announce Samples and initiate a wider rollout, the feature is just the latest in a series of additions that the Spotify competitor has debuted to this point in 2023. Since the year’s start, the platform has tested and/or launched “Create a Radio,” real-time lyrics, and, most notably, podcasts.

Specifically on the music video front, it’s worth highlighting in conclusion that smart-TV app ROXi announced a roughly $8.7 million raise last month and is reportedly plotting a U.S. expansion, while Vevo and TikTok unveiled a partnership towards 2023’s beginning.