A YouTube exec said Google will merge its splintered music services YouTube Red and Google Play Music

caption
YouTube Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl.
source
Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Listening to music via Google is about to get easier.

Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s head of music, said the video streaming platform and Google’s Play Music will merge into a new music-focused service at the New Music Seminar in New York, The Verge first reported.

“The important thing is combining YouTube Red and Google Play Music, and having one offering,” Cohen said, addressing a question about YouTube Red’s low popularity among music streaming services.

“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.”

Google’s overall approach to music looks pretty splintered right now. It owns Google Play Music, a streaming service which competes directly with Spotify and Apple Music; but you can also listen on YouTube, either by searching for videos or by using YouTube’s dedicated music services.

YouTube Music is a video-first version of Google Play Music, except that there are ads. The subscription-based, ad-free version is called YouTube Red, which lets you listen to audio in the background or download videos offline, and also offers exclusive shows from vloggers.

Google is aware of this complexity and wants to fix it, but a statement from the company suggests the different services aren’t going to merge right now.

“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,” Google said in a statement to The Verge. “Nothing will change for users today and we’ll provide plenty of notice before any changes are made.”