Google has confirmed plans to merge YouTube Red and Play Music into a new streaming service. YouTube’s head of music said the move was necessary to take the services forward and attract new subscribers, but he insists nothing will change without plenty of notice.
YouTube Red and Play Music already come as one package; when you subscriber to one, you get access to the other with it. But they’re still very much separate services that offer different things, and that can be confusing for new users. It’s also hurting YouTube Red, which doesn’t seem to be as popular with music fans as it should be.
Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s head of music, said the company was taking steps to change that. “The important thing is combining YouTube Red and Google Play Music, and having one offering,” he revealed during a panel session for the New Music Seminar conference in New York. He didn’t specify whether both apps would be combined into one, but that seems unlikely.
Cohen added that he wanted greater collaboration with music labels and rights holders, “and not just making deals and going away and seeing how it works.” Combining the two services could make that a whole lot simpler.
“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,” Google later said in a statement to The Verge. “Nothing will change for users today and we’ll provide plenty of notice before any changes are made.”
There’s no timeframe for the merger yet, but given that it’s now confirmed by Google and Cohen is taking about it publicly, it can’t be far off.