Music streaming giants like Spotify and Apple Music best look over their shoulders in the coming year. Again.
Like a determined little engine, YouTube is reportedly setting the stage for a March 2018 launch of its newest music streaming service rumored to appear as ‘Remix’. While focusing primarily on music streaming, the service could also include relevant video clips from YouTube and it appears to be set to unite Google Play Music and YouTube Music, a free app that arrived in 2016 offering music with ads.
While YouTube already shared its music space with Google Play Music which launched in 2011, it still subsequently launched the growth-challenged ‘Music Key’ in 2014 which claimed to offer ad-free and offline music videos for the low, yet annoying monthly cost of $10—all while still offering its classic free music videos online that already had minimal ad interference.
YouTube’s Global Head of Music, Lyor Cohen, came onboard in 2016 vowing to enable the company to adopt new business models that made better use of available technology. So it should come as no surprise that recent industry whispers surrounding Remix have yet to include any subscription costs which sets up Remix as a solid undercut aimed directly at Spotify and Apple Music since they both currently offer basic streaming plans for $10 a month.
Nevertheless, industry execs should be well pleased if all goes according to plan as they have frequently pushed for greater revenues from YouTube in the past and often blamed them and other like-minded services for huge losses in recent years.
Spotify, Apple, Amazon and Google all currently have music services that work together with music labels for their pay-to-play services in a manner that has satiated the industry in a way that YouTube’s new services seems prepared to engage in as well. According to Bloomberg services, YouTube has already sealed a deal with Warner Music Group for Remix, and has now come to the table with the likes of Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Merlin, a consortium of independent labels.
Now only time will reveal if Remix’s endeavors to synchronize with Google Play Music and YouTube Red create either the next Frankenstein or Voltron—which honestly will both be a scary sight for the rest of the streaming industry either way.