While YouTube has made multiple attempts to get its users to go the extra mile and buy into its paid subscription services, it has had minimal success with either its Music Key or YouTube Red. That said, the popular video sharing platform has high hopes for its new Remix streaming service, said to be ready to drop this coming March.
Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0
YouTube has repeatedly tried to get music fans to buy into its paid subscription services Music Key and Red but hasn’t had too much success so far. So little success, in fact, that its subscriber numbers have never been published. That said, the company has big expectations for its new service, which carries the code name Remix, and will reportedly launch this coming March.
Remix is somewhat different than its past subscription offerings in that it reportedly will include on-demand audio-only music streaming as well as video clips and other elements from YouTube. No word on whether it will replace Google’s current Play Music service or if it will be a new stand-alone product, but if it’s any indication, Google folded its Play Music staff into YouTube earlier in the year.
Don’t hold your breath on that launch date however, since the company only has a licensing agreement with Warner Music in hand, and still must finish negotiations with Sony, Universal, and indie association Merlin. These negotiations have always been contentious, especially in light of the wide-spread criticism of YouTube’s meager royalty payouts.
When it comes to video YouTube has gotten away with keeping royalties at the lowest in the industry thanks to Fair Use laws and user generated content, but when it comes to audio streaming it’s an entirely different story. The company will have to play by the same rules as other streaming networks like Spotify and Apple Music if it wants to play in the same league.
Making the negotiation all that much harder is the fact that the contract for music channel Vevo, which is majority owned by Universal and Sony, reportedly requires re-negotiation with YouTube early next year.
The best part about a Remix launch for artists, labels, songwriters and publishers will be the fact that there’s another deep-pocketed entity in the game with hopefully more marketing muscle than Google’s previous efforts. Nothing bad about another potential revenue stream.