Robert Kyncl, YouTube's chief business officer, has confirmed to Billboard that in addition to running YouTube he is now charged with overseeing business development and partnerships at Google Play, the tech company's digital distribution platform that includes the music download store and Google Play Music streaming service.
"The industry has been talking to us about simplifying our relationship with them and we listened, took it to heart and decided that the time is right now to do it," Kyncl, 45, told Billboard. "So 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."
Reporting to Kyncl are Tamara Hrivnak, who runs the U.S. business, Christophe Muller who helms international and Vivien Lewit who leads artist and label relations team. Kyncl reports to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.
While the two platforms partnership teams integrate, YouTube Red and Google Music Play will continue to operate separately though subscribers to either platform will have access to the other.
YouTube also released information to Billboard that its global music revenue distribution along with Google Play has reached $3 billion dollars. While the company declined to break down how the revenues were distributed or give a time frame, a source at YouTube said the majority of the distributed earnings was derived from ad-supported revenue.
YouTube claims over a billion users a month and is available in more than 70 countries. Google Play Music which includes a download store and a streaming service is available in some 60 markets. "That amount is the revenues between YouTube and Google Play and their partner pay outs to the music industry," Kyncl explained.
The news comes two weeks after YouTube announced its subscription platform, YouTube Red, which for $9.99 a month will offer exclusive original video content, off-line music listening, continuous play and music recommendation as well as access to Google Music Play. The new service, which is expected to launch before the end of year, will replace YouTube Music Key, which launched a year ago but never made it out of beta and will shutter at the end of this month.
Nearly two years ago, YouTube made a similar announcement when it reached the $1 billion threshold in music industry contributions.