Apple Music vs Spotify vs Google Play Music

Right now, Google has two music streaming apps, YouTube Music and Google Play Music. If you’re wondering why the two apps aren’t combined into one, well, it looks like the company has the same questions as well. Today, Google confirmed that it has decided to combine its YouTube Music and Google Play Music teams into one unit. This move likely means Google will be merging both apps at some point so it can have one unified music streaming experience.

The report comes from The Verge, who received a statement from Google saying that music as a whole is “very important” to the company. It added that it is now “evaluating how to bring together [its] music offerings to deliver the best possible product for [its] users, music partners and artists.” Google didn’t announce any plans to merge the YouTube Music and Google Play Music apps, though it did say that it will reveal its plans with “plenty of notice before any changes are made.” The company previously combined the business development teams of YouTube Music and Google Play Music into one in 2016, in order to quickly make deals with music artists and record labels.

It would seem the writing is on the wall in this particular case. Google Play Music is certainly the more popular service out of the two, so we wouldn’t be surprised if YouTube Music was folded into Play Music. After all, the YouTube brand is better known for its video offerings anyway. In fact, signing up for a Google Play Music subscription already gives you full access to YouTube Music and YouTube Red, which ditches all those pesky video ads on the service.

And while we don’t have any details on the future of Play Music/YouTube Music at the moment, this move does make quite a bit of sense. In a world where Apple Music and Spotify exist, Google needs to have one unified streaming service that can take on the other heavy hitters in the space.

Speaking of YouTube, earlier this week it announced that it had opened up live mobile video streaming on the service, but only if your channel has more than 10,000 subscribers. Since both Facebook and Twitter offer the same thing with no such restrictions, we wonder what’s keeping Google from offering this to everyone.