Google Play Music failed to attract as many subscribers as rivals such as Spotify and Apple Music, despite being pre-installed as the default music app on millions of Android phones. YouTube Music will offer more than 60 million songs to stream, but will not have a download store to buy music. The messaging was very confused," said Joseph Evans, head of tech at Enders Analysis.
Google Music was launched in It let users store their existing music collection in the cloud, and buy more songs to download. It was later rebranded Google Play Music and added music streaming in But the reality was that few people, especially younger users, needed to upload music to the cloud. A streaming service was enough for them. He agrees that the decision to brand the service Google Play Music was "interesting" because "Google doesn't scream entertainment and media". The company merged the two development teams in , leading to a discussion about which music app should prevail.
Google Play Music will be switched off in October, and anybody still using the app will have until December to transfer their playlists and purchases over to YouTube Music.
This time, the plan is to blend a traditional music-streaming service with songs that Google's algorithms have dredged up on YouTube. For example, the top playlist for S Club 7 is a series of shaky, distorted cameraphone videos from a concert, rather than the high-quality audio you might want to listen to while cleaning the kitchen. But the second playlist features rare tracks and B-sides uploaded to YouTube by fans, that are not otherwise officially available on music-streaming services.
One neat feature for premium subscribers is the ability to switch seamlessly between song and music video, which can help cut out the long preamble that some artists open their videos with. No shade, Lady Gaga. That may work fine if you're watching videos on YouTube, but it's useless on a music service if you're not looking at the visuals. As well as offering more than 60 million songs from major record labels, YouTube Music also pulls in audio content from the video-sharing side of YouTube.
Mr Bilinski said a music-classifying algorithm helped decide what content ended up in YouTube Music, while stopping other content from "leaking in". But the company will no longer offer music purchases, and will not integrate podcasts in YouTube Music. Mr Evans said Google's track record with branding did not "fill me with hope that the messaging is going to be super clear". There is a risk if you dilute the proposition with a product like YouTube, with user-generation videos. It's going in the right direction to be a big player.
One analyst said focusing on the YouTube brand was the "right strategy". Google then launched YouTube Music as a competing product in Mixed results. It produces some interesting results. The free tier of the app peppers video advertisements in between songs. Strangely, they are quite often just a musical jingle with no narration. One ad for a tablet computer featured only the sound of elephants trumpeting for 15 seconds. So, still a few wrinkles to iron out before Google Play Music's burial in October.
Related Topics. Google YouTube Music Streaming.