Google parent Alphabet is about to gain a new music streaming music service, and lose another.
According to reports out of the U.S., the tech giant will retire its Google Play Music service in the months ahead and push its existing users to YouTube’s long-rumoured new music streaming platform, which is code-named Remix.
YouTube’s third paid music service — after Google Play Music and YouTube Red, neither of which really caught on — is currently being beta tested by staff and could launch with the rather prosaic name YouTube Music.
YouTube Remix, if indeed that is its name, has been many months in the planning. The video streaming giant last year announced it had struck content deals with the three music majors, Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music, and various indies, ahead of its next journey into the streaming space.
The company’s global head of music talked about those plans in his keynote interview at the 2017 Music Matters summit in Singapore. “Building a subscription business is really hard. Building two is multiplying it. So the fact that that effort is being combined should be a real green light for everybody to recognise how serious this company is,” he said. “The process is going really, really great.” Cohen shared more details at SXSW in March and a YouTube spokesmen offered this overnight to droidlife:
“We’ve previously announced the combination of the YouTube Music and Google Play product teams — music is very important to Google so it’s critical we have one offering that meets the needs of consumers and artists. Nothing will change for users today and we’ll provide plenty of notice before any changes are made.”
Sadly, a start date for Remix (or an end date for Play Music) has not been revealed.
Though that hasn’t stopped the guessing game. Cohen has pulled out of his May 16 keynote at Nashville’s Music Biz conference (formerly NARM), which may or may not hint at something bigger. Pandora CEO Roger Lynch will slot in for a keynote conversation.
Whenever it comes, YouTube Remix will be chasing Spotify and Apple Music. Spotify, the market leader, boasted a base of paid subscribers in the region of 73-76 million for the first quarter on total active users of 168-171 million, with projections of more than 90 million paid premium subscribers by the end of this year.