The renewed YouTube Music aims to better attract local audio tastes

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – YouTube is hiring music experts around the world to make its renewed music streaming subscription more locally "authentic," YouTube officials, a unit of Alphabet Inc. ( GOOGL .O ) Google told Reuters on Friday.

PHOTO OF THE FILE: The logo of the YouTube application is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken on September 15, 2017. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / Stock Photo

Music programmers in countries such as France Brazil and Brazil are among the best investments YouTube says it is doing to address issues that have left Google as a distant rival to Spotify Technology SA ( SPOT.N ) and Apple Inc ( AAPL.O ) on online music subscriptions worldwide. Analysts estimate that Google has about 10 million subscribers.

Google has had publishers select audio playlists for their Google Play Music service, but they have played a minor role in the YouTube Music application, which leans more towards video.

The company announced this week that it is simplifying its music subscriptions and planning a large marketing blitz to facilitate user confusion over the various options.

Audio transmissions and expert-informed selections will now be key to YouTube Music, costing $ 10 per month to block ads and get offline access.

The new application arrives on Tuesday to the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico.

T. Jay Fowler, who oversees YouTube Music, said he's getting "authentic and locally authentic" while avoiding "boosting a US-centric music experience." It means that modernization will not reach Europe and Asia until the end of this year.

"We are preparing and working hard to clean the catalog and make sure that we are reflecting what is happening culturally," he said.

For example, launching in France with a set of hip-hop tracks that combine artists from Paris and Marseille would have "probably encouraged the fans," said Fowler. In Germany, miss the popular audio drama "Die drei ???" It would be seen as a big mistake, he added.

Fowler and Google's global music chief, Lyor Cohen, declined to comment on whether YouTube Music would have editorial standards.

The #metoo movement has led activists to demand that media and entertainment organizations denounce prominent figures accused of badual misconduct. Recently, Spotify said that it eliminated R & B singer R. Kelly from its playlists to ensure that "editorial decisions … reflect our values." The representatives of Kelly denied the accusations against him.

YouTube rules about user-uploaded content have generated a wave of complaints in the last year, as YouTube tries to apply them better.

"There's a lot of internal conversation going on," Cohen said when asked about YouTube Music's values. "This is a very important theme".

Paresh Dave report; Edited by Leslie Adler


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