Google has been working on a new streaming service, called YouTube Remix, for some time now, but the launch of that service may signal the end of one of Google’s other streaming services — Google Play Music. According to a report from Droid-Life, which cites a “reliable source,” Google is planning on forcing Google Play Music users onto YouTube Remix by the end of 2018.
YouTube Remix was confirmed to be in the works by Lyor Cohen, Google’s head of music, last month, but details about the new service are still a little scarce. According to Cohen, the service will combine Google Play Music’s context server with YouTube’s massive catalog. Droid-Life’s source apparently agrees with this, and indicates the new service will be able to do things like play music depending on the time of day, your location, and so on.
In response to the report, Google has released a comment. “We’ve previously announced the combination of the YouTube Music and Google Play product teams — music is very important to Google so it’s critical we have one offering that meets the needs of consumers and artists,” said the company in an emailed statement. “Nothing will change for users today and we’ll provide plenty of notice before any changes are made.”
Of course, YouTube Remix will have to be a great product to replace Google Play Music. Google Play Music is among Google’s most-loved services, though it’s not as popular as the likes of Apple Music and Spotify. It’s most likely that in the transition, your playlists, libraries, and music files will be carried over to the new service, though as Droid-Life notes, this has yet to be confirmed.
The new service may also mean the end of Google’s slightly messy slate of other services. While Google Play Music is Google’s most-used music streaming service, the company also offers YouTube Music, which, as the name suggests, allows users to play music straight from YouTube. Hopefully the new service will simplify Google’s music services in general. There’s also YouTube Red, which offers some exclusive YouTube content.
We do expect that to be the case — in February, Google combined its Play Music and YouTube teams, and Cohen said at the time that combining YouTube Red and Google Play Music so that users could use one service was a priority. If there had to be one surviving brand, it would make sense for it to be YouTube.
We’ll have to wait and see what Google’s music streaming services end up looking like — but hopefully the new service will please both Play Music fans, and those who want a little more from their music streaming app.
Updated on April 25: Added statement from Google.