When YouTube launched YouTube Red, it seemed like a major cash grab for people that enjoyed YouTube. Primarily when you have some of their popular content creators moving from a free service to a paid subscription. At the same time, you have Google Play Music, which also offers a paid service, which makes sense. Google feels that people are under-educated about both services and are going to try and change that.
During the New Music Seminar conference in New York on Thursday, Lyor Cohen claims that the company needs to combine both services to educate consumers and bring in new subscribers. “The important thing is combining YouTube Red and Google Play Music, and having one offering,” Cohen said when asked about why YouTube Red isn’t more popular with music users.
In a statement to The Verge, Google said it will notify users of any changes before they happen. “Music is very important to Google and we’re evaluating how to bring together our music offerings to deliver the best possible product for our users, music partners and artists. Nothing will change for users today and we’ll provide plenty of notice before any changes are made.”
“In my mind, the missing piece on building these businesses is collaborating with the [music] industry, and not just making deals and going away and seeing how it works,” Cohen said and noting that he would like to work more closely with music labels and rights holders.
The enticement seems a bit more similar to what Amazon is doing with their services. When you subscribe to Amazon Prime, you get free access to their Amazon Music, video streaming service and Audible. By merging the two and going for the “pay-for-one-get-a-second-service-free” is a good model if you can get consumers to buy into it. However, with service like Apple Music, Pandora, Slacker and other streaming service – many free – it will be hard for people to pay for something that they can get for free elsewhere.