Google will shut down the play Music service in the UK in October. This is to focus on YouTube Music, a newer music app offered by Google.
Google Play Music did not attract as many subscribers as its top rivals, such as Apple Music and Spotify. This happened despite Play Music being pre-installed as a default music application on millions of Android devices.
Moreover, YouTube Music will be offering more than 60 million songs that users could stream. Yet, this app will not have a download store where you could buy music.
According to an analyst, Google’s decision to focus on the YouTube platform was the right strategy.
Joseph Evans, the head tech at Enders Analysis, said that branding is a part of the issue with Google Play Music. According to him,” the messaging was very confused.”
Evans added that Google changed the app’s name several times. Some of these names include google Play all access and YouTube Music Key. The changes in names is an underlying issue that has not been an are that Google has focused on.
What Happened Was Tough – SoundCloud Following Will Grow
Google Music was first launched in 2011. It allows users to store their existing music collection in the cloud. Also, the music app lets people buy more songs that they could download. Later on, Google Music was rebranded into Google Play Music. After rebranding, it added a music streaming feature in 2013. This will also lead to a massive growth of followers on SoundCloud.
Brandon Bilinski, the current head of product for YouTube Music, said that they were the only game in town when collecting all existing music in a single place.
However, the reality was that only a few people, especially younger users, needed to upload their music to the cloud. In addition, a streaming service was already enough for them.
Moreover, Bilinski also agrees that branding the service as Google Play Music is an interesting thing. This is because Google does not sound anything like entertainment and media.
Later on, Google launched YouTube Music in 2015 as a competing product. Bilinski pointed out that it was tough because there was an existing little internal competition about where they would focus.
In the year 2017, the company merged two development teams. This lead to a discussion regarding what music app should stay and what should leave.
The company finally decided that it would make sense to have a music app that exists on YouTube. For this reason, Google Play Music will be shut down in October. Besides, individuals who are still using the app will have until December to transfer their playlists and their purchase to YouTube Music.
The Results Came Mixed
Google found a difficult time to attract subscribers to Play Music. In fact, analysts constantly rank this music app behind Apple Music, Spotify, and Amazon Prime Music.
Moreover, the plan is to blend a traditional music streaming service with tracks collected by Google’s algorithm on YouTube. This produces some attention-grabbing and interesting results.
For instance, the leading playlist for S Club 7 is a list of shaky, distorted, and low-quality camera phone videos from a concert. However, what should have been displayed as a playlist is high-quality audio that people would enjoy listening to while doing something at home.
However, the next playlist shows rare tracks and B-sides that are uploaded by fans to YouTube. These are tracks that you would not find officially available on music streaming platforms.
There is also one excellent feature that people could access if they are subscribed to premium. Premium subscribers will be able to switch from a song to a music video seamlessly. This will help them eliminate that long preamble that several artists open their videos with.
Free Version of Music Streaming
Moreover, the free version of the music streaming app plays video ads in between songs. But what is strange is that those video ads are often just musical jingles that have no narrations. For instance, an advertisement for a tablet computer featured nothing but elephants’ sound trumpeting for straight 15 seconds.
Such an advertisement will work excellently if viewers are watching a video on YouTube. However, the same ad is entirely useless to be played on a music service where users are not looking at the visuals and are only listening to the audio.
Needless to say, there are still a few wrinkles that need to be ironed out before the company finally shut down Google Play Music in October.
YouTube is also pulling in audio from the platform’s video-sharing site. This is in addition to offering more than 60 million songs that came from major record companies.
According to Bilinski, a music-classifying algorithm allowed them to decide what content will end up on YouTube Music. The same algorithm also helped prevent other content from leaking in.
Contrary to Google Play Music, YouTube Music will offer free music streaming in more than 80 countries. However, the company will not offer music purchases anymore. Also, podcasts will not be integrated into YouTube Music.
On the other hand, Evans noted that Google’s track record with branding did not fill him with the hope that its messaging will be entirely clear. He added that Spotify is doing one thing well. He was about music streaming. Evans also said that there is a risk if one will dilute the proposition with a product such as YouTube, with user-generation videos.
Finally, Evans emphasized that YouTube already has tens of millions of subscribers paying for its service. For this reason, there is a great chance for it to go on the right path to be a big player.
No one still knows whether or not YouTube Music will be a hit once it takes over Google Play Music in October. For this reason, it is worth saying that waiting until this music service is launched is something worthwhile.