The head of music at YouTube, Lyor Cohen, has revealed that the firm intends to merge YouTube Red with Google Play Music with a view to creating a new streaming service. Cohen’s revelation comes after he was quoted in a report that appeared in an online publication suggesting that merging the two services was in the offing.
“Music is very important to Google and we’re evaluating how to bring together our music offerings to deliver the best possible product for our users, music partners and artists,” Cohen had been quoted as saying while at a music event that was being held in New York.
Currently the music ecosystem of YouTube is quite complicated as different offerings exist and all providing the same service. There is YouTube Red which is a premium video service which allows its subscribers to access Google Play Music at no fee. Another service is YouTube Music which is free for all but premium features are unlocked when users join YouTube Red. There is also YouTube TV though it is not universally available yet.
Rumors of a merger between the different entertainment offerings from Google have long existed. They, however, took a more serious turn when teams assigned to the various streaming services were combined by Google. Prior to the changes happening, users will be notified to ensure a smooth transition. Though Google has not indicated exactly when this would happen it is likely to be soon.
According to YouTube’s music chief, the reason these Google services were experiencing lackluster growth was because there was a lack of a lack of collaboration with players in the music industry. Merging of Google’s streaming services will, however, not be a big deal since subscribing to one of the services gives on access to the others at no extra cost. All it will do is simplify how the offering is presented to consumers and eliminate misunderstandings. Presently the fee for a monthly subscription to YouTube Red is $10.
The move to merge the services might also help Google at least inch closer to its rivals as it is badly trailing streaming giants such as Apple Music and Spotify. According to Billboard magazine, both Google Play Music and YouTube Red have a combined user base of seven million subscribers. Apple Music, on the other hand, enjoys a subscriber base of 27 million while Spotify has 50 million subscribers.