YouTube Red and Google Play Music to Merge in New Subscription Service

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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.

Top Rated Comments

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41 months ago
what they should have done in the first place...
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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41 months ago
How about making the service available in more countries? How YouTube RED is not available in more countries is beyond me.. It's a service giving you access to a few YouTube RED shows, ad-free YouTube and some additional features in their mobile apps like Picture-in-Picture, background playback and offline videos. How hard can it be for YouTube to make this available outside the US?

The fact that Google is crippling the YouTube experience on iOS by not offering picture-in-picture, background playback and offline capabilities without having YouTube RED when it's limited to so few countries is just plain stupid.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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41 months ago
They only do this because YouTube Red is a complete flop.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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41 months ago
How is this different? I have Google Music and already get Youtube Red as part of it.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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41 months ago
In Australia we already get YouTube red with Google music. Didn't realise it's not like this in other countries. I hope they improve the iOS apps since music doesn't do proper split screen on my iPad, and there's no pip despite a workaround by copying the YouTube URL into another website.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
41 months ago

A few thoughts from a YouTube Red Subscriber:

1. Will the price go up with the merge?
2. Will I be able to opt-out of Google Music?
3. Will content creators see less revenue per YT Red View now that the subscribers' dollars are being split between record labels & YT Content Creators?

As a lover of Apple Music and believe in supporting YouTube content Creators, I subscribe to both. I've been sold on the fact that Red subscribers give more money than creators than a skippable ad. I hope that remains true and I have no plans to use Google Music.

Few thoughts.
1.If you're in the US, they've pretty much been unofficially merged for almost 2 years. $10 has gotten you both. I imagine keeping that uniform is probably the best course of action.

2. Why would you need to opt out? Just don't download the app. Again, if you're in the US, you already have Play Music.

3. Why would Content Creators see less revenue? Their revenue is primarily generated by views of their own content. Record labels would only get revenue based on their content. Just like they do now.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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