When YouTube Music debuted in May 2018, we knew it was only a matter of time before Google started chipping away at Google Play Music to shift its focus over to YouTube Music entirely. Today, we're seeing this starting to take effect with the death of Play Music's Artist Hub.
For those that may not be familiar, the Artist Hub is a tool that allows smaller/independent artists to stream and sell their content on Play Music and the Play Store without needing to partner up with a third-party label. However, on April 30, the Artist Hub will shut down.
Per a notice Google recently issued:
With the launch of YouTube Music last year, we eventually plan to replace Google Play Music with YouTube Music. In anticipation of this change, we are shutting down the Artist Hub.
Once April 30 rolls around, songs that were managed via the Artist Hub will "no longer appear in the Google Play Store or Google Play Music service." Should artists want to move their songs over to YouTube Music, Google recommends they partner with labels such as AWAL, TuneCore, DistroKid, and others.
While major songs and artists won't be affected by this, it is a notable change and likely the first of many to come to Play Music as Google transitions people away from it and onto YouTube Music. It's certainly annoying if you're still using Play Music, but it's also not unexpected considering its current state.