YouTube Red and Google Play Music to Merge in New Subscription Service

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Google Play Music and the ad-free YouTube Red service are set to merge in a new streaming package, according to YouTube's head of music (via The Verge).

Lyor Cohen revealed the coming change during a panel session at the New Music Seminar conference in New York on Wednesday, saying the two services needed to be combined to educate consumers and attract new subscribers.

The important thing is combining YouTube Red and Google Play Music, and having one offering," Cohen said when asked about why YouTube Red isn't more popular with music users. He didn't address whether or not the two apps would merge -- but it seems very unlikely.
By consolidating the offerings into a unified package, Google hopes the benefits of its subscriptions will be clearer to customers. Currently the company offers YouTube Red, which removes ads and lets users save videos for offline viewing, in addition to an ad-supported YouTube Music app (with additional benefits for Red subscribers), while YouTube TV is provided as a separate subscription service.

Google said it would notify users of the changes beforehand, but the timeframe for the rebranding remains unclear. Still, existing subscribers to YouTube Red or Google Play Music shouldn't see a hugely significant change, as the two services are essentially already combined.

Article Link: YouTube Red and Google Play Music to Merge in New Subscription Service
 

JaySoul

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Jan 30, 2008
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I'm a paying Google Play Music subscriber in the UK and we don't even get YouTube Red.

Google needs to simplify it - they are holding 3 Aces and a King, yet still contrive to overcomplicate it all.
 
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RamGuy

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Jun 7, 2011
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How about making the service available in more countries? How YouTube RED is not available in more countries is beyond me.. It's a service giving you access to a few YouTube RED shows, ad-free YouTube and some additional features in their mobile apps like Picture-in-Picture, background playback and offline videos. How hard can it be for YouTube to make this available outside the US?

The fact that Google is crippling the YouTube experience on iOS by not offering picture-in-picture, background playback and offline capabilities without having YouTube RED when it's limited to so few countries is just plain stupid.
 

allan.nyholm

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Nov 22, 2007
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If then Google would only merge its communicationservices; their SMS app on Android, Hangouts, Allo, Duo, Hangouts Meet. I highly doubt users are confused by such a merge. There's more diversity allowed in the mobile and desktop app market than between people in real life.
 

anthorumor

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Jun 16, 2009
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In Australia we already get YouTube red with Google music. Didn't realise it's not like this in other countries. I hope they improve the iOS apps since music doesn't do proper split screen on my iPad, and there's no pip despite a workaround by copying the YouTube URL into another website.
 

Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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They only do this because YouTube Red is a complete flop.
I don't necessarily think it's a flop more than it is expensive for what you're receiving. Binding services make sense in some respects and expanding into other Countries should be a consideration also.
 
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69Mustang

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I don't necessarily think it's a flop more than it is expensive for what you're receiving. Binding services make sense in some respects and expanding into other Countries should be a consideration also.
I was going to disagree with you and say that Red is a great value considering it comes with free Play Music subscription (or Play Music comes with free Red) all for $10 or $15 for family. I did not realize that wasn't the case everywhere. Red by itself for $10? It's not a hard pass, but it's a pass nonetheless.

Under the assumption that it was "buy one, get the other free" everywhere I always thought it a bit convoluted for the services to be separate. Officially binding them together just makes sense to me, especially since I thought they were already bound behind the scenes.

Side note: I need to stop assuming just because we (US market) get something that it's the same everywhere.
 

mlody

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So they will bundle services? Isnt this why all cable/satelite providers are hurting because of bundling in the first place? Weak channels/services are being carried by more popular and in demand ones and people are forced to pay for them?

Whats next from google? Red this or red that? I do not want them to get an idea of charging people for services?

What if in few years most of their services would require fee in order to fully use them?

Want traffic info in maps, pay, want push service for email, pay, etc and the next thing we know, people end up paying $20-30 a month to use google services.
 

enc0re

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Jun 7, 2010
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This is not surprising. Google has a lot of market power with YouTube. It's by far the leader in online video. Google Music on the other hand is an also ran in streaming music.

Companies often bundle products to leverage their market power from one market into another.
 

adamjackson

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Jul 9, 2008
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A few thoughts from a YouTube Red Subscriber:

1. Will the price go up with the merge?
2. Will I be able to opt-out of Google Music?
3. Will content creators see less revenue per YT Red View now that the subscribers' dollars are being split between record labels & YT Content Creators?

As a lover of Apple Music and believe in supporting YouTube content Creators, I subscribe to both. I've been sold on the fact that Red subscribers give more money than creators than a skippable ad. I hope that remains true and I have no plans to use Google Music.
 
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InuNacho

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Apr 24, 2008
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I'm a bit confused by all this. I used to be a Google Music subscriber and this got rid of ads on Youtube and added offline videos which is pretty handy when you're on a mobile device. For this service I paid $10 a month.
When Youtube Red came out my Music subcription had expired in the same month and upon attempting to resubscribe I could only get one or the other.
Would this service essentially be what I used to have?
 

avanpelt

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2010
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How is this different? I have Google Music and already get Youtube Red as part of it.
Exactly this. I pay $9.99/month and I have Google Play Music and YouTube Red. I've had them both for probably close to two years for that price. The only reason I stick with Google Play Music is because when I signed up for it, YouTube Red was included. I've probably saved several minutes over the last two years not having to watch preroll ads on YouTube videos.
 

BigMcGuire

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Jan 10, 2012
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Love google music and YouTube red. I pay the family plan so the wife and three others have YouTube red and google music as part of the $13.99.

I find I am spending more and more time on YouTube per day. Love it. Politics. News. Tractor pulls. Videos about batteries and solar panels. Dashcam videos. Ahhhhh
 
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hifoo45

macrumors member
Apr 29, 2010
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How is this different? I have Google Music and already get Youtube Red as part of it.
Yeah, I was confused about this too. I have been enjoying both since the get-go. Maybe they wanted a new PR push because when it first started the music add-on was pretty low on messaging points?
 

69Mustang

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A few thoughts from a YouTube Red Subscriber:

1. Will the price go up with the merge?
2. Will I be able to opt-out of Google Music?
3. Will content creators see less revenue per YT Red View now that the subscribers' dollars are being split between record labels & YT Content Creators?

As a lover of Apple Music and believe in supporting YouTube content Creators, I subscribe to both. I've been sold on the fact that Red subscribers give more money than creators than a skippable ad. I hope that remains true and I have no plans to use Google Music.
Few thoughts.
1.If you're in the US, they've pretty much been unofficially merged for almost 2 years. $10 has gotten you both. I imagine keeping that uniform is probably the best course of action.

2. Why would you need to opt out? Just don't download the app. Again, if you're in the US, you already have Play Music.

3. Why would Content Creators see less revenue? Their revenue is primarily generated by views of their own content. Record labels would only get revenue based on their content. Just like they do now.
 

BigMcGuire

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3. Why would Content Creators see less revenue? Their revenue is primarily generated by views of their own content. Record labels would only get revenue based on their content. Just like they do now.
Google definitely makes less money with Youtube Red - but I think creators get a "tiny" bit more than watching ads. Yeah, I remember them advertising this back in the day. I talked to a Google Employee and his first reaction was that Youtube Red doesn't make Google that much money vs ads (obviously that's his focus) on a view per view basis. :p
 

69Mustang

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Google definitely makes less money with Youtube Red - but I think creators get a "tiny" bit more than watching ads. Yeah, I remember them advertising this back in the day. I talked to a Google Employee and his first reaction was that Youtube Red doesn't make Google that much money vs ads (obviously that's his focus) on a view per view basis. :p
This makes total sense. Ads pay most of the bills. What I couldn't understand was adamjackson's concern about record labels getting part of other content creators revenue. That didn't make sense.
 
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adamjackson

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This makes total sense. Ads pay most of the bills. What I couldn't understand was adamjackson's concern about record labels getting part of other content creators revenue. That didn't make sense.
I saw it as I'm paying $10 a month to not receive ads while still funneling some level of money into film makers. I saw ads as a way to support the artists on YT and red allows me to skip ads and still support them.

My concern is if it stays $10 a month, that essentially divides $5 to Google Music and $5 to YT Red and thus YT would have to lower the amount they pass on to content creators.

If Google Music is already included with YT Red, then I guess nothing changes then why is this post even here? It makes it seems like they're merging. I have no interest in google music.
 
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ActionableMango

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Sep 21, 2010
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If Google Music is already included with YT Red, then I guess nothing changes then why is this post even here? It makes it seems like they're merging. I have no interest in google music.
Indeed, Google Music is already included with YT Red. What's changing is the branding/packaging. As far as I can tell, there is no change to the pricing or features.
 
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