As ubiquitous as on-demand music streaming has become in recent years, the global market is pretty close to reaching a saturation point, with two immensely popular platforms and many smaller players basically offering the same exact services.
There’s not a lot of room for innovation, and frequent promotions can’t drive the kind of sustainable subscriber growth these apps need in order to turn a constant profit. But no one can stop a tech titan like Google from trying to capture a juicy slice of this pie either.
The search giant already owns the world’s most successful video-sharing website, but its efforts to expand YouTube’s reach have largely failed. The same goes for the 2011-launched Play Music, which hasn’t been able to come close to Spotify or Apple Music’s industry relevance.
Big G’s next attempt at cracking the music streaming market is reportedly a “combination” of YouTube Red and Google Play Music, internally dubbed Remix, and tentatively eyed for a March 2018 debut.
It’s still unclear if Remix’s launch will bring the demise of the two aforementioned products, although YouTube Red feels relatively safe given its primary recent focus on original programming.
Ongoing negotiations with major record labels are of course the number one obstacle in Google Remix’s race to digital store shelves, as Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group continue to hold out after more than a year of reported talks and Warner Music’s agreement to come on board the project.
The current plan is to “incorporate elements from YouTube, such as video clips” into the new streaming platform, as well as directly rival Spotify with “standard” audio playing on smartphones, tablets and computers. We’ll just have to wait and see if the market can accommodate three heavyweights.