YouTube Red and Google Play Music to Merge in New Subscription Service

Google Play Music and the ad-free YouTube Red service are set to merge in a new streaming package, according to YouTube's head of music (via The Verge).

Lyor Cohen revealed the coming change during a panel session at the New Music Seminar conference in New York on Wednesday, saying the two services needed to be combined to educate consumers and attract 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. He didn’t address whether or not the two apps would merge — but it seems very unlikely.
By consolidating the offerings into a unified package, Google hopes the benefits of its subscriptions will be clearer to customers. Currently the company offers YouTube Red, which removes ads and lets users save videos for offline viewing, in addition to an ad-supported YouTube Music app (with additional benefits for Red subscribers), while YouTube TV is provided as a separate subscription service.

Google said it would notify users of the changes beforehand, but the timeframe for the rebranding remains unclear. Still, existing subscribers to YouTube Red or Google Play Music shouldn't see a hugely significant change, as the two services are essentially already combined.


Discuss this article in our forums

Google Play Music iOS App Now Supports CarPlay

Google's music subscription service, Google Play Music, now has a dedicated CarPlay app available, according to comments shared on reddit. That means Google Play Music users who own a vehicle equipped with CarPlay can access their music directly through the CarPlay interface when an iPhone is connected to the car.

The Google Play Music CarPlay app is sectioned off into Home, Recents, Music Library, and Stations, giving subscribers access to recommendations, their own custom playlists, radio selections, and more.

Google Play Music is the first Google-made app to be available for CarPlay, and it joins music apps from services like Pandora, Amazon, and Spotify.

Google Play Music allows users to store up to 50,000 songs and listen to ad-supported radio stations for free. With a premium account, priced at $9.99 per month, users can listen to more than 40 million on-demand streaming songs without advertisements.

Google Play Music can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]


Discuss this article in our forums

Google Home Owners Can Now Stream Songs They Uploaded to Play Music

Google has updated its Home smart speaker software so that owners can now listen to music they have uploaded to and purchased on Google Play Music.

Previously, using a free Play Music account through Google Home was limited to playing radio stations, while paying subscribers could listen to tracks in the streaming service's own online catalog. But now both types of account holders can also play music they have personally uploaded to the cloud (up to 50,000 songs) or bought outright on the Play Music store.


As detailed in the company's product forum post, Google Home will now prioritize uploaded and purchased tracks over radio mixes when users ask to play a certain artist, but on-demand content will play before purchased/uploaded content unless paying users specifically ask Home to play something from their library.

The feature is currently rolling out to all regions where Google Home is supported. See Google's help page on the subject for more.


Discuss this article in our forums

Google Play Music Gets New Playback Quality Options For Streaming and Offline Listening

Google has updated its Play Music app with new options to control the quality of music playback over wireless networks and choose the compression level of downloaded tracks.

Previously, users of the streaming service could only adjust the quality of music when listening over their mobile connection, but the additional options offer the same control over WiFi and when listening offline.


The options to adjust streaming and download quality are listed simply as Low, Normal, and High, so it's unclear exactly what bitrate Google is referring to, but it's safe to say any increase in quality will eat further into any data caps, or use more storage in the case of downloaded tracks.

For comparison, Spotify offers a streaming choice of 96kbps, 160kbps, or 320kbps, while Tidal offers 96kbps, 320kbps, and Apple Lossless (Hi-Fi). Apple Music streams at 256kbps by default, but does include a 80kbps option for cellular connections.

(Via Engadget.)


Discuss this article in our forums

Google Offering 4-Month Free Trial of Play Music Streaming Service

Google is offering four free months of Play Music as part of its Cyber Week deals. The four-month trial includes a YouTube Red subscription for ad-free YouTube streaming and can be cancelled at any time. The Play music streaming service usually costs $9.99 per month, giving members access to over 35 million songs.

Play Music trial
Google recently announced an overhaul of its Google Play Music streaming platform, with new contextually aware, opt-in music recommendation features that promise a more personal music listening experience.

Users who have had a free trial or cancelled a Play Music membership in the past aren't eligible for the Cyber Week promotion, but that doesn't stop anyone curious to see what's changed from creating a new Google account to take advantage of the offer.

Related Roundup: Black Friday
Tags: Google, Google Play Music

Discuss this article in our forums