YouTube Music Begins Testing Short Film-Like Music Video Feature In Brazil – Any Plans For A Wider Rollout?

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Credit: Agustin Diaz

YouTube Music is reportedly experimenting with a “samples” shorthand feature designed to enable previews of music videos on the streaming service.

YouTube Music’s potential foray into music video clips was brought to light in a recent Reddit post, as well as subsequent reports from media outlets such as 9to5Google. According to the Redditor involved, who attached a screenshot in Portuguese to the post, selected mobile users can currently access the “Samples” offering from Google’s own streaming platform via a tab of the same name at the bottom of the screen.

The “Samples” option sits between the existing “Home” and “Explore” tabs, according to the mentioned screenshot, and leads to a music-centric vertical video page when tapped. “Basically a YouTube short film, but only for music videos,” summarized the original poster, who also stated that he lives in Brazil.

(Big labels continue to ramp up their efforts to expand in Brazil, South America’s largest music industry — and to stop piracy. According to IFPI, Brazil now has the ninth-largest market in the world and generates most of its music revenue from streaming.)

According to the person who discovered Samples, the corresponding “tab just popped up” and he hadn’t previously received any notification or message about the feature. After answering questions from interested YouTube Music users, das original poster uploaded a clip with samples.

Fans can browse through a seemingly endless selection of music video previews (showcasing different parts of each medium — not just their beginnings) just as they would videos on Shorts and other similar platforms, according to Clip. Song titles and artist names appear at the bottom of the screen, and users can tap a quick navigation menu that includes shortcuts to the acts’ YouTube Music radio channels and options for saving the songs.

The switching back and forth between samples and different tabs doesn’t seem to disturb the former’s video, which appears to continue and pick up 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 if) YouTube will officially announce Music Samples and kickstart a wider rollout, the feature is just the latest in a series of additions the Spotify competitor has rolled out to this point in 2023. Since the beginning of the year, the platform has tested and/or launched Create a Radio, real-time texts, and most importantly, podcasts.

Finally, in the music video space specifically, smart TV app ROXi announced a capital raise of around $8.7 million last month and is reportedly planning to expand into the US, while Vevo and TikTok are partnering in early 2023 have announced.