Over the past year or so, YouTube has become even more of a bigger piece of Google Puzzle. While it’s been clear to a lot of people in the know that Google owns YouTube and ultimately control its direction, to a lot of people on the street they wouldn’t know as much. That is slowly starting to change however, as music fans that signed up for Google Play Music All Access will get ad-free YouTube Red for free, and ad-free music videos outside of the US. The two services, both of which deal in entertainment, are becoming closer and closer, and this latest move at Google should make that clear enough.
According to Billboard, YouTube’s Chief Business Officer, Robert Kyncl, is to take over ‘business development and partnerships’ at Google Play in addition to his existing roll at YouTube. This is a strange move on paper, but if we think about how much YouTube want to become a legitimate entertainment outlet at the mainstream level, curating and accumulating original content, Robert Kyncl presumably has an eye for talent. Not only that, but negotiating terms with self-made YouTubers and content creators for YouTube Red will no doubt prepare him for some of the tough conversations that he will have to face organizing new content and deals for Google Play.
Google Music and YouTube are to merge and cover all aspects of the music distribution as far as Google is concerned, and Kyncl says that “we consolidated our partnerships on the music side for Google Play Music and YouTube and I think we’ll be able to service our partners whether they’re publishers, labels, or artists much better this way through a unified relationship”. What this means for the rest of the industry remains unclear, but YouTube has been a powerful tool for new artists as well as record labels. Hits like Gangnam Style and Get Lucky wouldn’t be anywhere near as big if it weren’t for YouTube. Bringing Google Music and YouTube together will surely give the likes of Spotify and Apple Music something to worry about.