YouTube Red, Google Play Music services to merge

Google says the merger is necessary to entice new users to sign up.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
File Photo

Google has revealed plans to merge YouTube Red and Google Play Music to create a new, streamlined service.

As reported by The Verge, Google Music chief Lyor Cohen revealed at a panel session for the New Music Seminar conference in New York that the tech giant needs to bring the two services together to entice new subscribers, especially in light of rivals such as Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, and Apple Music.

"The important thing is combining YouTube Red and Google Play Music, and having one offering," Cohen said.

YouTube Red, available in the US, is a subscription service which offers ad-free music and video streaming. The music service is already streamed through Google Play Music and YouTube Music, and while ad-free videos are accessed through YouTube, you can also watch YouTube Red Original television shows and films as a paid subscriber.

The current ecosystem seems somewhat confusing and fragmented, with some services available to subscribers and others available with the support of adverts.

However, should YouTube Red, YouTube, YouTube Music, and Google Play Music be brought together more cohesively under one umbrella, more potential subscribers may be enticed towards a new service.

With so many rival services competing for the same business, making life simpler for consumers makes sense.

Back in February, Google confirmed that the YouTube Music and Google Play Music teams were being combined, which started off rumors that the tech giant may be looking at streamlining how they offer music subscriptions.

In a statement, Google acknowledged that users will be told before any major changes take place.

"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 told The Verge. "Nothing will change for users today and we'll provide plenty of notice before any changes are made."

See also: YouTube 'suicide note' rule changes causes gamer uproar

In April, streaming service Spotify acquired blockchain startup Mediachain. While you may not necessarily link blockchain ledger technology with music streaming automatically, Spotify said the deal took place in order to link content to the identity of the creator, offering a channel for attribution, analytics, and payment in a time when such content is distributed without control online.

How to protect your laptop in cargo when you fly (in pictures)

Editorial standards