Google Play Music is set to finally combine with YouTube to create a new music service called YouTube Remix, according to reports.
If true, this will put to bed years of rumors that Google would use YouTube as its main conduit for music listening, something it has tried with its YouTube Red subscription service that’s available in a handful of countries – including the US, Australia, Mexico and New Zealand.
It has always been thought that if Google could find a legitimate way to merge Google Play Music with YouTube, then it would have the definitive music platform – one that would marry audio and visual that the others have failed to do.
Years of legal wranglings with various music labels, however, has meant that it has been difficult for Google to find a way into making such a platform.
Given YouTube began as a bit of a Wild West for music videos, with many an unlicensed video appearing on the site in the early years it is understandable that Google has taken its time to make sure that all rights holders are backing its plan. It has increased music videos on YouTube, too, with deals such as its one with Vevo bolstering its music content.
Play Music, remixed
DroidLife, which broke the story, has a statement from Google which hints Play Music and YouTube have now got closer ties, noting: “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.”
Google Play Music launched back in 2011 with the brilliant USP of allowing users to upload up 50,000 of their own tracks into the platform to stream whenever they wanted to. This, at the time, gave users a way in to move from physical discs to the cloud. This was a step beyond what Apple was offering, which was offline listening with iTunes, tied to a computer and an iPhone/iPod.
Since then, however, the rise of Spotify has been seismic in the streaming industry. It has pushed Apple to create Apple Music and other smaller services such as Deezer to innovate with things such as personalized playlists.
Google Play Music does all of this, too, but the hype surrounding the platform is moderate at best.
If it has managed to create a true YouTube/Play Music hybrid that’s available to all – it was talking up a new music service at SXSW this year – and it’s not restricted like YouTube Red, then that could well be what’s needed to combat the Spotify spread.