How YouTube’s Mixing It Up with “Remix”
YouTube has come a long way from the viral videos you used to watch. A new music-streaming service is about to be created by YouTube called “Remix.” This new service is supposed to be launched in March of 2018. It will provide on-demand streaming (like Spotify) and video clips, presumably of music videos and musician interviews; however, this has only been defined in vague terms.
Remix already has great potential. Of the three major recording labels (Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group), two are in talks with YouTube, and one has already signed a deal. YouTube also has a major user base and audience to appeal and advertise to. It would be able to provide content from various sources, such as established artists, lesser known YouTube users, and overlooked songs from the past. Meaning, virtually any song you wanted to hear, by any artist, could be found easily. On top of having the music and the content, YouTube has already established itself as a place to find music. In fact, ‘Music’ is the most frequently viewed type of content on YouTube. 30% of all time spent on YouTube is spent listening to music, and it makes up 94% of the most viewed videos list. All this time spent listening to free music was a source of complaint for recording labels and artists who felt that they were not being paid fairly for their work, but this streaming service could also provide the funds necessary to appease these people.
Unfortunately, there are still many obstacles to making Remix a reality. YouTube needs to create a product that is unique from its competitors and the services that are already provided by Google, such as Google Play Music and YouTube Music (provided through a YouTube Red subscription). These two services already have a significantly lower subscription number than their competitors, Spotify and Apple Music. Google Play Music and YouTube Red have roughly 7 million subscribers combined, while Spotify has nearly 60 million and Apple Music has 30 million. To bring people to subscribe to Remix, YouTube would also need to find a way to get people to pay for something that YouTube has already provided for free. Many people use YouTube to stream music and videos without worrying about the occasional ad. Now, they must find a way to offer a similar service that people will be willing to pay for.
Still, Remix has the potential to provide artists exposure to new audiences, to target for marketing, and expose audiences to new styles of music they would enjoy. Being discovered through YouTube might take on a new meaning with Remix.