YouTube To Launch New ‘Remix’ Subscription Service in March: Report

YouTube is throwing its hat into the streaming ring with a new service it is internally calling “Remix,” which will reportedly launch in March. 

Richard Vogel/AP
– YouTube
The YouTube Music app on a mobile phone.
The new subscription service would have both on-demand audio and a video component, according to Bloomberg News

A March launch, however, might be ambitious. So far, the service has only come to terms with Warner Music Group, according to the report, and has yet to negotiate with the other two major labels, Sony Music and Universal Music Group.

That the new service has reached a deal with WMG comes as little surprise as Lyor Cohen was formerly WMG’s chairman/CEO of recorded music until 2012 when he launched 300, a music entertainment company. Cohen became YouTube’s global head of music in August 2016.The news comes after years of withering criticism aimed at YouTube by a large swath of the music business over its wildly popular free video streaming platform’s inability to fairly compensate artists and adequately deal with copyright-infringing content.

 YouTube, however, has attempted over the years to increase its revenues and payouts to the industry with subscription service offerings that included YouTube Red and Music Key along with sister company Google Play, owned by parent company Alphabet, which is also Google and YouTube’s parent company. YouTube also launched its Content ID system to identify and take down videos with copyright-infringing content.

The video service with its new streaming offering will have a lot of catching up to do as market leader Spotify has 140 million users and 60 million subscribers as of  July; meanwhile Apple Music, the second largest music subscription service, announced it had 30 million in late September.

YouTube, however, with its staggering 1.5 billion logged-in viewers per month as of June, may be the one platform that can catch up to streaming market leaders if it can up-sell the service to its massive audience.

In mid-November Ticketmaster and YouTube announced a ticketing partnership giving YouTube viewers dates for upcoming shows and links to Ticketmaster to get them one step closer to purchase. TM reps said listings will be available for 1,000 artists in North America by the end of the year, and will go worldwide in 2018.