For the past year, Google has been rumored to be working on a new music streaming service. In February, the Play Music and YouTube teams were combined, with the merger of the two products actually confirmed in July. A new report today shares more details, including a possible launch date.
According to a Bloomberg report, it appears that YouTube will be the surviving brand, with “much of the staff for Google Play Music” folded into the YouTube Music team earlier this year. Before the merger of the two product teams, the two business development teams were combined in 2016 to ease Google’s label and artist negotiations.
Internally codenamed “Remix,” the new service features on-demand streaming with video clips and other YouTube-like elements. Meanwhile, our teardowns of the main YouTube and YouTube Music Android app in recent months have spotted references to a “YouTube Plus” subscription tier.
This new product is seen as possibly appeasing “record-industry executives who have pushed for more revenue from YouTube.” Namely, they have been disappointed in how YouTube Red is not music-centric enough and instead focussed on producing original video content.
Warner Music Group has already signed on, though discussions with juggernauts Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group have been underway for over a year. YouTube is also negotiating with a consortium of independent labels called Merlin, as well as reaching out to have artists help promote the service.
Bloomberg notes that YouTube plans to introduce the music service in March.