YouTube Red and Google Play Music to merge says Lyor Cohen

Posted July 28, 2017

Google Play Music and YouTube Red are to merge, giving rise to a new streaming service, announced Lyor Cohen, YouTube's head of music at the New Music Seminar in NY.

In a statement, Google said users would get "plenty of notice before any changes are made". Right now with the two services separated, their market remains unnecessarily segmented, making it more complicated for consumers to have the complete access they're looking for to as much music as possible.

"The fact that YouTube Music and Google Play Music both exist is a touch confusing, especially since you can use them both for free, but they both add a bunch of features if you subscribe to YouTube Red".

The move comes after Google combined the teams of both streaming services earlier this year but no time frame for the product combination has been provided.

Listening to music via Google is about to get easier. A free trial subscription to Play Music would give users access to YouTube Red. Cohen said the decision to merge the two services was made to bring in new subscribers. But Google also operates a standalone YouTube Music app that focuses on music videos.

We think that the better prospect would be to merge YouTube Music's videos and Play Music's audio into a single app, similar to what its rivals like Apple Music and Spotify are doing. You can't create your own playlists in YouTube Music, but it makes a "My Mix" list of curated tracks you may be interested in based on previous listening. It's also hard to fully enjoy this perk, as you have to switch between apps depending on whether you want to stream music or video. But the company did not confirm whether it is a part of the plan too.

It's unclear what the merger would look like, if it does take place.