Why does Google need to have two music-subscription services? It’s a question that’s been discussed by a fair few music-industry people in recent years.

Now it seems that YouTube’s global head of music Lyor Cohen has been asking the same question. And, indeed, answering it with a new plan.

“The important thing is combining YouTube Red and Google Play Music, and having one offering,” Cohen told the New Music Seminar conference in New York overnight, suggesting that merging the two services will be key to boosting their combined subscribers, against strong competition from Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon.

Cohen didn’t talk timescale or details, but Google has issued its own statement to The Verge confirming that the plans are afoot, following its decision to combine the two services’ teams in February this year.

“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,” said a spokesperson. “Nothing will change for users today and we’ll provide plenty of notice before any changes are made.”

Google has never published subscriber figures for either YouTube Red or Google Play Music, although there were rumours that the former had around 1.5 million subscribers in the autumn of 2016.

Cohen has also confirmed his desire to work more closely with labels around the merged service. “In my mind, the missing piece on building these businesses is collaborating with the industry, and not just making deals and going away and seeing how it works,” he said.

Music Ally’s next Learn Live webinar will help you understand what’s required for artists to thrive in new international markets!

Avatar photo

Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *