As music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music become ever more popular, YouTube is once again getting ready to launch a new version of its own. Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg writes that the upcoming paid service, which may be called Remix, is set to launch in March.
While Remix will primarily be about on-demand music streaming, it could also feature elements from YouTube such as video clips. Earlier this year, Google said it was looking to streamline its multiple services by combining YouTube Red, its video subscription service, and Google Play Music into a single offering.
Google has tried to crack the music streaming business on several previous occasions. Google Play Music launched in 2011 but still isn’t as popular as its rivals. There was also Music Key in 2014, which came with ad-free music videos and songs for $10 per month; this eventually became YouTube Red in 2015 and expanded to include original video content.
Although Warner Music Group, one of the three biggest music publishers, has reportedly already signed on, YouTube is still in talks with Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group, as well as Merlin, a consortium of independent labels, all of which need to get onboard.
Musicians and industry execs have long spoken out against YouTube and complained that the service simply doesn’t pay enough for hosting their videos, especially as so many people use the site solely to listen to music. Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor said it was built on the back of stolen content.
Remix will have some way to go to catch up with Apple Music and Spotify, the later of which has over 60 million paying subscribers. To try and steal some customers, YouTube might undercut its rivals’ by offering a basic plan for less than $10 per month.