Google Play Music and YouTube Red to merge into single service

The move should simplify the YouTube Music experience.

YouTube Red and Google Play Music will eventually merge to create a new service. The move comes after months of speculation following Google's decision back in February to combine its YouTube and Play Music teams. According to The Verge, YouTube Music head Lyor Cohen said the company wanted to merge the services to help "educate consumers and bring in new subscribers".

Google's complicated music offering currently spans three different apps. YouTube Music is a free app open to everyone but offers an enhanced experience if you're also signed up to YouTube Red, which gets rid of adverts on videos and lets you save them offline. People who sign up for YouTube Red also get access to Google Play Music, which is basically Google's version of Spotify. At the same time, people who sign up for Play Music will also get YouTube Red's benefits -- if you sign up for one, you get the other free.

It's not yet clear whether the two apps will merge -- it seems unlikely, because they have such separate focuses. One streams music, the other plays videos; combining them wouldn't exactly make things simpler. The move doesn't herald a major change for users (Google said it''ll notify users of any changes before they happen), so it's not clear exactly how Google plans to "merge" things, but at least it shows it's thinking about making things easier for customers.