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New YouTube Music Streaming Service To Launch Early Next Year.

YouTube is planning to launch a new music streaming service in March 2018. The new service is rumored to be called Remix and will be the combination of Google Play Music and YouTube Red subscription services.

The rumored launch of YouTube's new music streaming service was first reported by (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-07/youtube-is-said-to-plan-new-music-subscription-service-for-march) Bloomberg.  Although the March 2018 launch date was given, it's launch will still depend on whether YouTube is able to close deals with major music labels, Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group. YouTube is said to have been negotiating with those two music labels for more than a year.

Merlin, a consortium of independent record labels, is also currently in talks with YouTube. Meanwhile, Warner Music Group has already signed on with YouTube for its new music streaming service.

Remix will be parent company Alphabet Inc.'s third attempt at releasing rivals for Apple Music and Spotify. The company introduced Google Play Music back in 2011 as its subscription-based music streaming service. In 2014, the company also announced YouTube Music Key, which allowed subscribers to stream ad-free music.

Music Key later became YouTube Red in 2016, which also offered original content that stars popular YouTube creators. Google also offered YouTube Red subscriptions that are bundled with Play Music in an attempt to further grow its number of paying users.

None of Google's previous offerings really caught on with consumers, while its rivals saw healthy growth. Spotify now has over (https://spotifyforbrands.com/us/2017/06/15/140-million-strong/) 140 million monthly users , 50 million of which are paying subscribers. Meanwhile, Apple Music already has more than (https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/magazine-feature/7980919/jimmy-iovine-zane-lowe-larry-jackson-interview-billboard-cover-story-2017) 30 million subscribers. Google was only able to get (https://www.theverge.com/2016/11/2/13498470/youtube-red-subscribers-video-content-music) 1.5 million subscribers for YouTube Red a year after its initial launch.

YouTube's Remix music streaming service will effectively Google Play Music and YouTube Red. It will apparently include Spotify-like on-demand streaming and will also deliver YouTube features, like streaming video clips. A person familiar with the matter also told Bloomberg that YouTube has reached out to artists to help promote the new Remix music streaming service.

The launch of the YouTube's Remix music streaming service shouldn't be a huge surprise since it was already rumored to be in the works since July of this year. YouTube's head of music, former Warner Music executive Lyor Cohen, did mention at the time that they would be merging YouTube Red and Google Play Music into one service.

"Music is very important to Google and we're evaluating how to bring together our music offerings to deliver the best possible product for our users, music partners and artists. Nothing will change for users today and we'll provide plenty of notice before any changes are made," Google said in a statement provided to (https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/26/16048084/youtube-red-google-play-music-merging) The Verge.

YouTube has been criticized by music labels and artists for not compensating them appropriately. The online video streaming service has become a popular place to stream music videos for free with ads. With Google seemingly moving forward with its plan to launch a new music streaming service, it could hit two birds with one stone. The service could appease the music labels and artists, and Google might be able to finally catch up with its rivals.
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:Dec 8, 2017
Words:573
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