Google-owned YouTube has now reportedly offered some insight into its future plans for its YouTube Music service and application. The most important piece of information provided by the company is that it will, at some undisclosed date in the future, be delivering updates on a scheduled basis. For now, the plan is to adopt a timetable which sees improvements, fixes, and features arriving every two weeks. That could change in the future but would apply pressure that may be needed in order to bring things in line with functionality expected of a Google Play Music replacement. As things currently stand, YouTube Music falls short of the latter service by a substantial degree, lacking user library upload capabilities, as well as screen-off playback and music sorting or filtering. Moreover, it can't currently filter content between YouTube and the Music-branded side of things. That means that users aren't able to subscribe to an artist in YouTube Music without also subscribing to them in the former service.
Beyond the new schedule, the company's product manager, Elias Roman, has outlined a few of the changes that can be expected to hit YouTube Music soon. There's also at least one that's already rolling out. Namely, Android users will be able to store downloaded music on an SD card or in internal storage going forward. Tied in with that, quality selection options for downloads and streams will be added over the next few weeks, meaning users will be able to opt to download or stream in whatever quality suits their needs, similarly to how Google Play Music and YouTube already work. Furthermore, a dropdown menu may be added to help filter content between the two YouTube-branded services. Album sorting is on its way too, although neither of those latter updates currently has a timeframe attached to it.
Plans to replace Google Play Music with YouTube Music are all but inevitable once the core features of the former app and site are available in both. Roman also provided some insight into the reason for that, pointing to a decision to distinguish between Google and Alphabet's subsidiaries more cleanly. That's driven primarily by YouTube's users, who already use the streaming site and app for music, creating a natural split between the two offerings. To resolve the conflict, the company is effectively folding things into the more popular brand for that.