Google Play Music might be killed off this year in favor of YouTube Remix

Right now, the state of Google's music streaming services is a bit of a mess. Google Play Music is the company's most notable player, but you can also listen to tunes and watch music videos via YouTube Red. If you're on mobile, you can separately download the YouTube Music app that also comes with a Play Music/YouTube Red subscription. This jumble of services isn't the easiest to understand, and to fix this, Google might replace them with YouTube Remix.

This is a rumor that first popped up back in December, but according to a new report from Droid Life, it's said that Google will shut down Play Music following the launch of YouTube Remix. It's unknown how quickly the domino effect will happen, but users will reportedly be forced off of Play Music by the end of the year.

It's unclear at this time if playlists, liked songs, and saved local files will transfer over to YouTube Remix, but I've got to imagine Google's got some sort of system in place for making the transition as seamless as possible.

If YouTube Remix replaces Play Music, what'll happen to YouTube Red?

YouTube began signing deals with record labels for Remix towards the end of 2017, and just before this year's SXSW, a representative from the company confirmed the service was in the works but wouldn't launch in March (which it clearly didn't).

If YouTube Remix will replace Play Music, does that mean YouTube Red will stick around? What about YouTube Music? I personally think Google's best bet would be to kill off the YouTube Music app entirely and just house Play Music and YouTube Red's offerings under the new YouTube Remix branding, but they could also choose to go an entirely different route. This is Google we're talking about after all.

Google I/O is set to begin on Tuesday, May 8, and in my eyes, that's as good a place as any for Google to officially unveil what it's been working on.

Download: Google Play Music (while you still can) (opens in new tab)

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

108 Comments
  • Google discontinuing one of its services? Shocker!
  • It's like I never left Windows Mobile!
  • Yep. People who moved from Groove to Google Play music must be banging their heads on their desks right now
  • So, will i still have the music that i bought in google play?
  • That's my concern as well. I don't like GPM either, but I've got money in those songs. I lost music back with Yahoo Music, and also with iTunes. Alo, hows the audio quality? Some apps degrade the quality.
  • My music is all free.
  • You could return to your Apple music via.... lol.... the Appe Music app on Android.
  • You can sync all your iTunes music to Google Play Music!
  • Unless you are gone for a couple years and Apple cleans them out. I'm using my original iTunes ID and all my music purchases are gone.
  • You would think so, if not pitch forks will be out.
  • I hate the Google Music app it's so bland and dated looking
  • So what? It works and the best value of all music streaming apps. I click on what I want to hear. Never thought to myself, damn , this app is boring.
  • It's not the best value if you look for deals. I have Spotify and Hulu together for $4.99 a month.
  • Well that's a good inductry deal. I'm talking You tube Red and Google play music all access. Same price into the future. I'll admit Hulu is great being included. Send me the link.
  • Ah I gotcha you now. As far as I know it doesn't have an expiration date and it is a student deal. If you're familiar to Slickdeals there is a thread about getting a student email address
  • What is the expiration date the Hulu and Spotify bundled deal? Also, are there any requirements, such as being a student?
  • No expiration date as far as I know and yes there is student requirement. Check my post above
  • Good, Google Play Music's UI the Album Art, trucated text, out of order, unable to sort songs or anything mess has been driving me nuts for years. Kill it with FIRE. They can't make it worse with whatever the new UI is in YouTube Remix so bring it on.
  • Agreed. It is one of the main reasons why I use Spotify and because of Discover Weekly.
  • I never had a problem with it's UI. Infact, it was very customizable but only from a PC.
  • It's only me that always read YouTube Red or YouTube Remix as RedTube?
  • What's RedTube? 😏
  • Google is also providing some evidence that they're trying to kill Google Play Music. Hover over the note on Taylor Swift's YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/taylorswift/ Official Artist Channel is what the note means. Most Artists by now have an official artist channels, except for Lecrae. About a few weeks ago, only a handful of Artists had an official artist channel.
  • I hope the transition is not a headache. I currently have a subscription and I love the service. I was expecting some nice updates like having a most played list, sorting my songs any way I want etc. I just need to know that my subscription and downloaded music moves over nicely as well as some nice updates.
  • +1 to this. I've also uploaded a lot of my music (not available in GPM) to my library. Sure would hate for that to not transfer over.
  • I too enjoy Google Play and love my low prescription price I still have grandfathered in.
  • Doctor prescribed, Google approved!
  • Okay but this isn't giving them the shekels they crave.
  • Gotta be kidding me.. What about my purchases? Google's lack of direction is very disconcerting. They seriously have no idea what they're doing.
  • I would recommend downloading Google Play Music for Chrome. Once downloads are finished, it would be best to upload them to OneDrive for streaming from the Groove Music app.
  • Maybe they're killing the subscription service (Google Play Music Unlimited) but keeping around the pay-per-song library.
  • If they actually cancel Google music, I'm switching to Spotify. I have little trust in the YouTube brand given everything Google has done with it as of late and honestly, I only want music, not a damn video.
  • Even YouTube Music has an audio only mode. I'm guessing YouTube Remix will too.
  • This sucks as I really like the way GPM works on my phone and especially through Chrome. Google has no ******* clue what they want to do with their services. This is the crap that is driving me away from Google/Android.
  • I am with you. I don't understand why they make 4,5, or 6 different apps to do the same task. Allo, Hangouts, Duo why they all do the same job. GPM just needs to be updated. My main issue with the player is when it comes to uploading music. You can't upload new albums or songs without deleting all your uploads first.
  • Not sure what you're doing, I upload new songs and albums all the time without having to delete anything.
  • Yeah, I think you are uploading music wrong. I've uploaded music simply by dragging an Album or song to the Google Play Music webpages (albeit, logged in).
  • This would drive me a away from GPM. I have no interest in YouTube and by gathering it all together under some YouTube banner gives the impression that video is the primary thing they are looking to push. I am sure you will need to take extra steps to just have the audio and then I am sure they will be pushing the video in your face as much as they can. For those of us who just want the music this becomes very unattractive..
  • If Play leaves, I'll go to Slacker.
  • Slacker is my favorite. I just use it to stream comedy. I think I may be the only person who doesn't stream music 🙃😬😱.
  • I can't imagine going back to dealing with mp3 files, ugh..
  • Good !!! Play music is honestly not that great in terms of app (not service). Hopefully YouTube music gets rebranded as YouTube remix and gets it's main attention.
  • Wow, i have no alternative in mind. I'm a subscription holder. I didn't see this coming. Play music has been my only app for music consumption since i stopped buying iPods like 6 years ago. This really burns. I see a lot of commenters don't like it. For me it was ideal. In my phone, on my computer. Great for road trips and parties.
  • Hey Nick, I moved to Spotify, from GPM mainly for the Discover Weekly feature, haven't looked back since, well I have but went back to Spotify again, give Spotify a go.
  • I've used the Spotify app for both Android and Desktop and in my opinion, the GPM app takes the cake when it comes to Android. The Spotify app UI isn't all that intuitive and still seems a bit outdated with its use of dark gradients. Another thing about the Spotify app is that when you queue up a song to play next after it completes it gets removed from the queue and that just bothers me more than I could ever express.The desktop client, it top notch in my opinion.
  • Why do people want social and discovery crap in their music player? I listen to music for myself, not for anyone else.
  • I'd be more happier with Discover Weekly if I didn't keep getting horrible cover versions of song recommendations from the previous week.
  • Barryb20 I'll give it a go, if it comes down to it. Re-establishing playlists of thousands of songs is... Frustrating and tedious to say the least.
  • Have you not listen to the new Release radio on gpm?
  • Wait so how is this going to work for the people who have uploaded music to it, if this does happen? Does that mean that if there's no YouTube match, it sucks to be them? This is an odd decision imo.
  • Don't care, I can adapt. What about you guys who hate change?
  • Where are my 1800 songs supposed to go if this happens???
  • I'm going back to Spotify. Google doesn't deserve my money anymore than their lack of commitment to promote and improve their products.
  • First Groove forced me to spotify. I don't like Spotify. Now play music is forcing me to YouTube remix? I don't use YouTube music. Why the hell would I want it remixed? What a cruel world.
  • The problem with Microsoft is they couldn't simply transfer my purchases right to OneDrive. I have to do it myself. News flash, I don't have a computer running Windows.
  • Have you even seen YouTube Remix!?
  • almost as cruel as the music industry itself
  • I use it frequently. I just hope they'll grandfather the better rate that I am on right now to the new service that includes YouTube Red and GPM.
  • 😢 No! I have so much invested into GPM! It has all my music backed up from my iTunes days, etc.. And a family plan too.. Thank for ruining my life YouTube.. I guess Apple music it is for me..
  • It is probably just a rebranding of GPM. They said nothing with change.
  • Makes sense. Everything media wise, is in YouTube. Move Play Movies in there because they already are. Reduce redundancy. Just bring as much as Play Music UI to YouTube remix and we good.
  • comment has been deleted.
  • If they make this switch better still give me my grandfathered $7.99 a month rate or I am done. Tired of Google launching things they kill off within a few years.
  • I swear Android users have to be the most pessimistic paranoid people on earth. I'm rather optimistic to see what YouTube Remix has to offer.
  • Optimistic and Google in the same sentence...
  • Exactly 😂😂😂😂. Google does some backward stuff
  • Too bad the word Google isn't even in the comment.
  • I hope not. I have purchased music and alblums that I have. If I lose those I'll cancel and just use Amazon Music.
  • Yeah, well. GPM is pretty close to the only app that works worth a crap with Android Auto so I can play the 18k mp3s I have on my Note8. If they kill it in favor of something else it better have mp3/aac support .. none of that Allo crap where it does messaging but no SMS/MMS. Oh yeah. GET OFF MY LAWN!
  • Oh Google...a picture of instability. Nothing seems to last in Google land.
  • Been on Google Play for a few years, would be annoying if my library and playlists can't be moved over.
  • If you guys upload your music's to OneDrive you can stream them for free to your phone by using Groove Music...
  • I just hope I don't lose all my music (which is mostly vgm) which I mostly downloaded from YouTube when Google Play Music is rebranded into YouTube Mix.
  • Google, THE schizophrenic marketing company
  • Meh. GPM's disabled on all my Android devices. Pretty much contented with Spotify Premium.
  • Good thing I've abandoned first party offerings.
  • Poor Google, they just can't seem to get things figured out. Maybe their hiring practice is to blame? From their messaging app to their video chat now music, next movies, what a mess. I must admit that it's been getting harder for me to stick around.
  • Evolution is inevitable but it's things like this and Google's messaging apps that make it near impossible to invest fully in their ecosystem. I recently moved 15yrs worth of family photos and videos from OneDrive to Google Photos but I don't fully trust that either so I'm keeping both subscriptions in use for now just in case. I know they're likely safe but it's that "what if" and lack of trust Google have created in their own services.
  • I wonder if they'll bother launching the service outside the US before they kill off Play Music? Totally crappy otherwise.
  • If they get rid of Play Music I'm going to Spotify. This is a mess and Google needs to figure out wtf they're doing. What they SHOULD do is update and fix Google Play Music!!
  • I second that BIG TIME. Update the damn app.
  • Well we don't have YouTube red with our Play Music subs here in the UK. I wonder what will happen.
  • Like everyone else, my biggest concern with GPM being folded into YouTube is having 4yrs worth of library and playlists transferred easily and completely...not that we'd ever be able to tell what was missing from multiple 1000 song play lists or a 20k song library. Also, 90% of the songs on YouTube sound like they were recorded next to a running dump truck. I hope they have a way to eliminate all that nonsense with DJ tags and teen love dedications over the actual songs, just have the high quality official versions in the search results. This is the main reason I've never used the YT music app, the endless list of low quality crap that comes up in searches. I always hesitate to recommend Google apps and services to friends/family, but I thought GPM was the one thing in the ecosystem they wouldn't break apart or EOL. Switched from individual to a family plan when it was offered and talked 5 others into giving it a chance. Guess I was wrong. My 70yr old mom was just finally getting comfortable using the GPM app and service. Just like Hangouts to allo, no one would even try allo... not sure I'll be able to convince them all to switch to another new Google app, not when Spotify, apple music, and others manage to consistently update their apps UI and features without forcing everyone to switch to an entirely new, rebranded service every couple years. I don't why they can't just update and fix the GPM app UI.
  • I don't care what they do as long as I can keep my music I uploaded as well as the music I purchased from them
  • I am very bummed because i actually really like play music for some of its playlists. But i shouldnt be suprised with google anymore they are not afraid to just abandon a service as opposed to transitioning it. To all those afraid of purchases, Your purchases are DRM free as with any purchases in itunes (not downloaded music through subscription but if you bought the music) you can download them and move them to any platform. You own that media just download local copies and store it somewhere.
  • Hahaha! Typical Google BS! I hope people migrate to Spotify. It's way superior anyway!
  • That's the reason I never dig into Google's services. You're on Picasa? Oh well, now use photos. You're on Blogger? Oh no, we kill it. Wallet? Crippled and useless now. Allow, hangout, etc. - don't get too comfy! Once you invest time and energy into their products Google decides it's time to move on. Gmail seems to be the only exception.
  • Hmm they going the same way Microsoft killed off Groove music
  • They didn't kill Groove music. Removed the streaming portion, but as a stand alone player, it is still the best...especially for streaming from your own cloud.
  • It's beginning to look a little like Microsoft....
  • Samsung music player still the best
  • The sky is falling!!!! LOL everyone here is cracking me up with the way they are freaking out but have no idea what they are freaking out about. Nothing has been announced and no details have been released. Let's save the pitchforks for when we actually know what is happening. It seems everyone is assuming the worst but I don't think Google is going to start deleting all it's user's data and make everyone start over. I'm sure they will preserve your library, playlists, and liked songs. If Remix is indeed replacing GPM then it will be Google's main music service and be integrated in the same places GPM is. Grandfathered plans will most likely remain and probably still include YouTube Red (maybe under a different name). To me this looks like a rebranding exercise with a new app and some new features.
  • You seem logical. I respect that. That's not how Google operates though. If this happens it will stink, at least initially.
  • Google Music app also handles podcasts. Wonder what they will do about that?
  • handles podcasts terribly*
  • I actually really like Google Play Music. I get Spotify Premium for free through my network provider (Vodafone UK) but I still prefer to pay for and use GPM.
    Also, YouTube Red and YouTube Music aren't available here in the UK, which is a shame.
  • As a happy subscriber to Google Play Music, I'm not excited about this news but will see how it shakes out before jumping ship.
  • Couldn't care less about streaming or digital purchases. All I wanna know is what I'll have to use to play my local rips.
  • Rumor has it anything audio and video will be rolled into YouTube. Play Movies, audiobooks, podcasts eventually also. Then they will start a streaming service like Netflix. A one stop shop for entertainment.
  • They have audiobooks? Hmmm... The more you know.
  • as a canadian where youtube red isnt available , what about us?
  • All this is, is to push people to the YouTube type platform. Easier to serve you ads this way.
  • Nevermind the fact that Play music is the only google music service available in the country I live, this would be the fastest way to get me to go to Spotify. I want a music service, not a "oh yea you can also just listen to audio in youtube" service.
  • Bullshit conjecture.. Can't help but think that this is extreme speculation. The advancement and evolotuion of Youtube as applies to music will definitey see progress. However, based on everyting DroidLife is trying to project, it's all on heavily speculated opinions without evidence. YouTube music services, whether it's Youtube Red, etc... they're entirely different services. I honestly don't see Google Play Music leaving. Sure the YouTube series of music services are fine and all. And the conjecture that "Combining Google Play Music" features does not dictate that Google Play Music is leaving. Only that YouTube's evolution is adopting features. Even Google isn't so inept to think that a person looking for nothing more than listening to music expects their video service to provide it (that'd be a friggin data killer). I have yet to see even ONE piece of evidence that GPM is going by the wayside. It's all wild speculation. GPM isn't going anywhere anytime soon. And even if Google DID have some plan to kill off GPM... based upon their past reputation, they wouldn't kill it off anytime immediately since it's a cash cow. Sure, Google has killed services in the past. But they were always services that were losing money. GPM is hardly that. Personally, I think Google is expanding and evolving their YouTubeRemix service. But no way in hell are they halting the GPM cash cow they currently have going. There's a huge difference between streaming audio vs streaming audio/video combined. And let's face it... this article (as well as many others that have proliferated over the net) are based on conjecture from the flubs writing for DroidLife. They don't exactly have a stellar reputation for being accurate in their predictions. I'm actually disappointed that AC didn't exercise some vetting to determine the veracity of the rumors.    
  • But, but, but, ... the rumors haven’t been discounted away either.
  • I do hope they do a good job of transfering my playlist, library of purchased and uploaded music as well as the library of albums and songs I have otherwise added to my "library" into the Youtube music library so that I can use those as I always have. I also really like their curated "radio station" playlist. The user curated crap on the youtube music app looks pretty awful from what I have seen so far, so it would be nice to see that come over. If not, I'll just download my music, use the Stamp app to switch playlist to Spotify and switch my subscription money distribution to spotify from google.
  • This was probably the dumbest article in the history of AC. If you don't like GPM, use one of the other options.
  • Meanwhile, I have Napster (formerly Rhapsody) and it works great!!! But nobody ever talks about them....