Google Play Music starts shutting down next month

YouTube Music and Google Play Music
YouTube Music and Google Play Music (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • YouTube Music is replacing Google Play Music completely this year.
  • The older service will begin shutting down from September in New Zealand and South Africa and October in other countries.
  • Google will let users transfer their data over to YouTube Music through December 2020, after which Play Music will be shuttered for good.

Google is beginning to wind down Google Play Music officially. While YouTube Music had already taken its place as the company's premier music service, users could still stream from both with a single subscription. That will end next month.

Google announced the change today:

Starting in September 2020 in New Zealand and South Africa — and in October for all other global markets — users will no longer be able to stream from or use the Google Play Music app. But don't worry, we will be holding onto things like your playlists, uploads, purchases, likes and more until December 2020 to make your transfer to YouTube Music easier. Users who wish to transfer their music libraries from Google Play Music to YouTube Music, can do so through December 2020, after which their Google Play Music libraries will no longer be available.

For subscribers who YouTube Music has gone through a rapid feature evolution over the past few months. Google has added a lyrics feature, collaborative playlists, boosted the AI suggestions of the service, redesigned it to look and feel more modern, and a host of other features. From today, Google will also be rolling out support for commands to Nest and other smart home speakers. Users will be able to say "Hey Google, play recommended music from YouTube Music", and the Google genie will get to work. Though it lacks an as-competent Android TV and web version, the mobile version is leaps and bounds ahead of what Google Play Music currently offers.

Any users still subscribed to Google Play Music by October 2020 will see their subscriptions end. There are still some hangers-on for the old service, but the writing has been on the wall for a long time now. Today, Google says its time to move on.

How to transfer your Google Play Music library to YouTube Music

Michael Allison