RIP Google Play Music, Long Live YouTube Remix
Earlier this week Google confirmed rumors of the demise of Google Play Music when it launches the new YouTube Remix streaming service. Google Play Music was launched in 2011 as a combination streaming service to discover new music and a “storage locker” to save up to 50,000 song downloads in your own personal library. As the default music service within Google Play it always had the advantage of organic traffic yet it never really took off. Part of the problem was the focus on storing downloaded music – 2011 was the peak of song downloading and it’s been dropping ever since. So Google Play Music has been chasing a declining market from day one.
Although it hasn’t been rolled out yet, YouTube Remix will probably resemble a subscription streaming service (think Spotify) with a free trial side and a fully functional on-demand tier behind a paywall. This move makes sense for Google since millions of listeners already go to YouTube to watch music videos. So converting some of this endemic traffic into paying subscribers is a logical upsell.
Timing of this launch looks to be Q4, with current Google Play Music listeners being forced to make the hard switch over by EOY. Look for more news on this as they get closer to launch.