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December 8, 2017

YouTube to try again with new paid music service, aiming for March launch

by John_A

Multiple past efforts by YouTube to take on the likes of Spotify and Apple Music have ended in failure, but the Google-owned company is clearly not one to walk away from a challenge.

Determined to try, try, and try again, YouTube is reportedly prepping another subscription service for a March 2018 launch, allowing anyone who coughs up the cash to stream music to their devices.

The service is likely to be called Remix, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, and while focusing primarily on music streaming, could also include relevant video clips from YouTube.

As we heard earlier this year, the new service looks set to unite Google Play Music and YouTube Music, a free app that arrived in 2016 offering music with ads.

Google launched Google Play Music in 2011, but it hasn’t enjoyed the same success as rival music streaming services. Keen to explore the subscription platform, YouTube launched Music Key in 2014, offering subscribers ad-free music videos. But poor growth saw Music Key succeeded by YouTube Red, which landed in 2015 and lets users watch all videos without ads while also offering original programming, offline viewing, and background playback for $10 a month.

YouTube has already inked a deal with Warner Music Group for Remix, according to Bloomberg’s sources, but remains in talks with others that it needs to get on board, namely Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Merlin, a consortium of independent labels.

The report says any deal “could help appease record-industry executives who have pushed for more revenue from YouTube,” with some claiming that recent growth enjoyed by the industry would’ve been greater “if not for YouTube,” which they say doesn’t pay them enough when you take into account the number of people that use the streaming site to listen to music.

No subscription costs have been mentioned, though Remix may try to undercut Spotify and Apple Music to offer a compelling reason for users to jump ship or for first-time subscribers to sign up. Spotify and Apple Music currently both offer basic streaming plans for $10 a month.

While other music streaming services exist, Spotify and Apple Music have emerged as the two main players, with Spotify now home to more than 60 million paying subscribers, and Apple Music to 30 million.

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