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27 July 2017

Google will combine YouTube Red and Google Play Music into one service

Image: Vogel/AP/REX/Shutterstock

It looks like Google is finally admitting what we all already know: The company has too many damn music streaming platforms. 

YouTube’s head of music confirmed on Thursday that the company plans to consolidate its two music streaming services into one platform.

Speaking at a conference in New York Thursday, Youtube music chief Lyor Cohen said Google will combine YouTube Red and Google Play Music into a single service, according to a report from The Verge

It’s not clear when this will happen or if the new combined service will be rebranded, but it’s nonetheless a welcome move considering how complicated its current offerings are. 

For the uninitiated: Google’s two main streaming offerings are Google Play Music, which is essentially a Spotify-like subscription service (complete with a free tier), and YouTube Music, which is a music video streaming service that’s part of YouTube Red. 

However, Google Play Music subscribers already had access to YouTube Red for free and vice versa, so combining the two services into one seems like more of a branding exercise than a strategy shift.

If all that sounds confusing to you, you’re not alone. As it has so many other times in the past, Google’s music streaming business has turned into a giant confusing mess, thanks to too many redundant services with similar-sounding names. 

At least now it looks like Google is finally acknowledging that and taking steps to simplify its music streaming offerings. 

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