THE TERRIBLE "GOOGLE PLAY MUSIC ALL ACCESS" NAME IS DEAD
If that all sounds confusing, there’s a reason that Music Key’s launch has been delayed several times. In its first major effort to build a new product around content already hosted on YouTube, the company has struggled with how to create an experience that feels valuable enough to pay for without disrupting YouTube’s core service too much. In February, Susan Wojcicki, Google’s former head of ads and commerce, took over YouTube; she took a close interest in Music Key, and a planned spring launch was put off. Several top executives then left the company, including Shiva Rajaraman, its head of product management, who defected to Spotify.
But this is only the first step. YouTube believes it can benefit simply from boosting the overall amount of listening on its platform — it has paid out more than $1 billion to artists and labels based on ad revenues to date, and the more ads it serves, the more it profits. And so building new ad-supported tools to help people listen to more music on YouTube is a logical step. The question of how many people will pay to do their listening on YouTube seems murkier.
Update, 3:12 p.m.: This story has been updated to reflect that YouTube's iOS app will be updated on Monday along with its Android app.