After taking down the Groovy Discord music bot a few weeks ago, Google-owned YouTube is now focusing on Rythm, Discord’s most popular music bot. The owners of Rythm, a bot that lets Discord users play music from YouTube videos and is used by over 560 million people, have received a cease and desist letter from Google.
Google requested that the Rythm bot be deactivated within seven days, and the service complied by deactivating its bot on September 15th.
Rythm can be found on more than 20 million Discord servers alone. Rythm has over 560 million Discord users, making its demise a major setback for one of Discord’s most popular features.
In a Discord message to The Verge, Yoav, the creator of Rythm bot, admits, “One way or another, we knew this was going to happen eventually.” “That’s why, a year ago, we started working on something new. Receiving one meant it would happen sooner rather than later for Groovy.”
According to Yoav, the Rythm bot team is working on “something new in the music space that we’re really excited about.” The team isn’t ready to talk about their upcoming project yet, but there will be some sort of connection to Discord. Rythm has been Yoav’s full-time job, and to power this Discord music bot, he needed 16 servers with over 4TB of RAM and over 1,000 CPU cores, demonstrating how popular the service had become.
“I believe that now that we have received the letter, all music bots will receive them in the coming weeks as well, and I am confident that they will all shut down,” Yoav explains. “As someone who was a very early Discord user, it’s difficult to imagine Discord without music bots; they’ve become essential to the experience and bring a community so much fun and engagement. For everyone on the platform, it’s the end of an era.”
While music bots appear to be an integral part of Discord, they have been enabled by third parties for years, allowing Discord to avoid scrutiny and legal action from companies such as YouTube. Many Discord users will be forced to look for alternatives as Groovy and Rythm shut down, but smaller bot developers may find themselves in a similar situation if they try to fill the void.
However, it appears that YouTube and Discord are working on an alternative. For the past ten months, Discord has been testing a social party feature that allows Discord users to form a YouTube watch party. It’s not a direct replacement for Discord’s music bots, but it will be an official way to watch YouTube content inside Discord if the feature is ever released.
We contacted Google and Discord for comment on the Rythm shutdown, but neither company responded by the time this article was published.