Google Play Music and the ad-free YouTube Red service are set to merge in a new streaming package, according to YouTube's head of music (via The Verge).
Lyor Cohen revealed the coming change during a panel session at the New Music Seminar conference in New York on Wednesday, saying the two services needed to be combined to educate consumers and attract new subscribers.
The important thing is combining YouTube Red and Google Play Music, and having one offering,” Cohen said when asked about why YouTube Red isn’t more popular with music users. He didn’t address whether or not the two apps would merge — but it seems very unlikely.
By consolidating the offerings into a unified package, Google hopes the benefits of its subscriptions will be clearer to customers. Currently the company offers YouTube Red, which removes ads and lets users save videos for offline viewing, in addition to an ad-supported YouTube Music app (with additional benefits for Red subscribers), while YouTube TV is provided as a separate subscription service.
Google said it would notify users of the changes beforehand, but the timeframe for the rebranding remains unclear. Still, existing subscribers to YouTube Red or Google Play Music shouldn't see a hugely significant change, as the two services are essentially already combined.