YouTube is the world’s biggest video site, but it is also an expansive jukebox for music fans who want to listen to their favorite songs on demand. YouTube is developing a subscription-based service that will cater to that class of viewers, but before it does, it will shut down its existing music search engine. YouTube is shuttering its “Disco” feature, which automatically generated curated playlists based on specific artists.
The YouTube Disco featured a minimalist, easy-to-use design. Users typed the name of an artist into a search bar and were then sent to a separate playlist populated by that artist’s songs. For indecisive listeners, a few popular artists are offered as suggestions. Now, in the service’s final days, a red bar across the top delivers its eulogy: “We’ve learned a ton from Disco that you now see in YouTube search and features like YouTube Mix. But like disco itself, this experiment’s days are over.”
Why has YouTube decided to shutter Disco? If recent reports are to be believed, the likely culprit is the upcoming music service (possibly named YouTube Music Key), which Reuters believes could be unveiled “in coming weeks.” YouTube Music Key’s development has been a long and arduous process. Setbacks have included a high-profile fight with several indie music labels and infighting among the development team, which has caused several Google execs working on the project to leave the company.
The death of the Disco forecasts that, at long last, the launch of YouTube Music Key is close at hand. For now, feel free to give the disco ball one last spin before it disappears at the end of the month.