YouTube Music appears to be testing cover labels for songs on the service. It’s one of many improvements over the last few months.
Google’s leading music streaming service is lagging behind the competition, but new feature updates put it on par. Real-time lyrics recently went online, and now it looks like YouTube Music is testing a label for covers.
Spotted by a perspicacious Reddit user, the new label feature seems, at first glance, to make it clearer if a song isn’t an original work by an artist. The track “Jesus He Knows Me” was originally released by Genesis in 1991, but Swedish metal band Ghost did a cover of the song this year. The cover of this song now has over a million views on YouTube and now the label “cover” appears when you search for it in the app.
A quick search for “postmodern jukebox” on YouTube Music reveals that the term is applied inconsistently to many tracks. The top two tracks on the list “Blackhole Sun” and “Creep” are correctly labeled as covers, while “Happier” is not. All three top songs are covers – because the postmodern jukebox focuses mainly on covers.
It’s interesting to see the feature live and you can probably test it yourself. Search for your favorite cover band on YouTube Music and see if it’s already flagged. Some of the world’s most famous covers don’t seem to be wearing the label yet. Android Police mentions Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” is not currently listed as a cover – although the original was published by Dolly Parton in 1973.
Oddly, I didn’t get the new “cover” label to appear for the cover of Alien Ant Farm’s “Smooth Criminal,” but did notice that the radio version of Michael Jackson’s version was listed as the cover. YouTube Music may not have all covers properly labeled yet.