Last December, we heard of a reported music subscription service from YouTube, internally referred to as Remix. Remix is confusing because YouTube is already a place of ad-supported music and videos, with YouTube Red being an option to remove the aforementioned advertisements from the service. With Remix, people would pay a monthly subscription, then get more of a Spotify and Apple Music-like experience, but allowing more revenue to be shared with the music industry at large.
Keep in mind, a subscription to YouTube Red includes a free subscription to Google Play Music and vice versa. So, needless to say, another subscription service, one catered solely for music, doesn’t quite add up in terms of upside to the consumer.
However, this week at SXSW, YouTube’s global head of music, Lyor Cohen, has provided a few more details to wet our beak on, but ultimately, leaves me with more questions than answers.
According to Cohen, the new service will combine, “the best of Google Play Music’s context server” and YouTube’s, “breadth and depth of catalogue.”
To be more exact, what will differentiate YouTube’s music subscription service is its recommendation system. As Cohen asks, “Did you know that 80 percent of all of watch time on YouTube is recommended by a recommendation engine?” By providing that stat, I suppose we’re expected to think this upcoming service will have an unbelievable recommendation system, leading to discovering new music and new acts getting recognized by being paired with known artists.
There are still a lot of questions concerning this service, such as all of the labels that are signed on to boost the library of accessible tunes, but also why users will need to pay for this when YouTube essentially offers everything you need for the price of absolutely free, unless you want to pay for the ad-free experience and Google Play Music.
What’s your take on this reported service from YouTube? Does it fit into the current market and can it actually compete with Spotify and Apple Music?