If you’re a Mac or iPhone user but find yourself tied to Google’s ecosystem, you might be curious about the company’s streaming services, Google Play Music and YouTube Red. One of them is dedicated to storing, streaming, and selecting your perfect musical experience; the other compounds upon that with ad-free and offline YouTube streaming.
YouTube’s head of music confirmed that the company is planning on merging its Google Play Music service with YouTube Red to create a new streaming offering. During a panel session for the New Music Seminar conference in New York, Lyor Cohen stated that the company needed to merge the two services to help educate consumers and bring in new subscribers.
Right now, YouTube’s music ecosystem is very unnecessarily complicated. There’s YouTube Red, which removes ads from videos and lets you save them offline, while also giving you access to Google Play Music of free. Then there’s YouTube Music, which anyone can use but it gets better if you’re signed up for YouTube Red. And YouTube TV is also a thing, which is an entirely separate thing, but not available everywhere yet.
The merger has been rumored within the industry for months, and recently picked up steam after Google combined the teams working on the two streaming services earlier this year.
In some ways, merging the services won’t be a major change — paying for a subscription to either YouTube Red or Google Play Music gives you the other service for free. But in terms of offering a clear, simple, and compelling offering to consumers, combining the two makes a lot of sense. So much that you wonder why this hasn’t happened already.