Google to combine YouTube Red and Play Music into new subscription service

Google will combine its YouTube Red and Google Play Music subscription services into a brand new subscription package, YouTube’s head of music Lyor Cohen has confirmed during today’s panel session for the New Music Seminar conference in New York.

“The important thing is combining YouTube Red and Google Play Music, and having one offering,” Cohen said. According to The Verge, he didn’t say if the two apps would merge.

Google told The Verge in a statement:

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. Nothing will change for users today and we’ll provide plenty of notice before any changes are made.

In my mind, the missing piece on building these businesses is collaborating with the music industry, and not just making deals and going away and seeing how it works.

The timeframe for the rebranded service is still unclear.

Currently, the YouTube Red and Google Play Music services are available at a monthly subscription price of ten bucks each. The problem is, they’re unnecessarily complex and come with some overlapping features.

For example, YouTube Red is a site-wide service that removes all advertising across YouTube platforms while providing perks like background playback, offline support, YouTube Red Original series and films and more.

Confusingly, a YouTube Red subscription also includes access to ad-free music streaming through Google Play Music at no additional charge. Consolidating the two offerings into a new service is a logical step as YouTube Red has not proved itself very popular with users.

Aside from YouTube Red and Google Play Music, the search giant also offers the free YouTube Music app, which works better if you’re signed up for YouTube Red, and YouTube TV, a subscription-based video service.