Google already has two music services: Google Play Music and YouTube Music. But in true Google style, the company is working on ANOTHER option for users to access music. And, according to reports, it will land during March 2018.
Reports suggest this new service, which will be YouTube-branded, will likely be a merge of Play Music and YouTube Music – or something very similar. This means there will be streaming options alongside video too.
Spotify, despite increased competition from Apple and other players, is still very much the dominant player in the world of music streaming. Even the mighty Amazon has struggled to pull people away from Spotify.
Why now? Apparently, shot-callers in the music business are disappointed that YouTube Red is not more focussed on music, so Google, being the obliging entity that it is, has decided to create something that is just about music – music and video, that is.
More details about the service have evolved via SXSW, where Lyor Cohen, now at Google, spoke at length about his involvement with the project.
Complete Music Update got the scoop which confirmed a bunch of details about the new service.
“We know we’re late to the party”, he conceded. “It’s OK. We’re making enormous investment to launch a product that you will be proud of … We’re going to collaborate and work closely with our label partners to understand their priorities and help them promote and break artists. Breaking artists is still my drug. I get to do it here at Google and YouTube on a massive scale around the world”.
He added: “We’re dedicated to giving artists, and labels, and their managers, the best direct-to-consumer access of any platform available. Spotify and Apple are pure retailers. Snapchat and Instagram are simply social. The most powerful aspect of YouTube is our ability to let the artists, managers, publishers, songwriters and labels to engage with their fans with no hoops to jump through.”
The agenda, however, is simple: Google is partnering with major labels in a bid to help them monetise their artists using the power of YouTube. From a business perspective, given just how popular some artists are, and the lengths their fans will go to in order to support them, this move makes a lot of sense.
Labels and artists make next to nothing from streaming, so they need to find a new and more profitable digital platform. And this new YouTube endeavour appears to be just that.
Warner Music Group is apparently already signed up, though Google is still attempting to get Sony and Universal onboard too. Once Google has a decent roster of labels associated with its new music initiative the service will be launched, likely in the US first, before rolling out to other regions.
There will be a premium element to the new music service, likely called YouTube Plus, though details of the exact nature of this aspect of the service are unclear at present. Users can expect a dedicated music and video experience, however, with plenty of exclusive content from the get-go.
The new music service will launch in March 2018.