According to Bloomberg, Alphabet Inc., the parent company for Google and YouTube, plans to launch a music subscription service as early as March 2018 in an effort to catch up to rival music streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify. Warner Music Group has already reportedly signed on, and talks are underway with Sony, Universal and Merlin (a conglomerate of independent labels). Google Play Music launched in 2011, and YouTube Red video just last year, but this would be YouTube’s first real attempt at their own music streaming subscription service since 2014’s YouTube Music Key (which would turn into YouTube Red).
The new service, called Remix, is planning to have “Spotify-like on-demand streaming” as well as “elements from YouTube, such as video clips.” A representative from YouTube also commented that “YouTube has reached out to artists to seek their help in promoting the new service.” March seems like a quick release date however, as reports suggest that YouTube, who is still in talks with both Sony and Universal, must also work out a partnership with Vevo, a rival video service owned by both Sony and Universal that distributes their artist’s music videos.
According to Bloomberg, “YouTube hired former Warner Music executive Lyor Cohen last year to help oversee its music operations and serve as a liaison to the record business,” which coincided with Google folding “much of the staff for Google Play Music into YouTube.” YouTube’s music streaming service Remix is still set for a March 2018 debut, with more information to follow in the upcoming weeks.