The music storage, music streaming and podcast streaming service Google Play will be shut down for good on December 2020, as its parent company Alphabet shifts the service in favor of YouTube music. The latter platform will now be hosting a transfer tool, to help make the transitioning from one service to the other more feasible for users.
This change is accompanied by several new deadlines. According to a blog post, “Starting in late August, users will no longer be able to purchase and pre-order music or upload and download music from Google Play Music through Music Manager.” the statement reads. The following month users in New Zealand and South Africa, “will no longer be able to stream from or use the Google Play Music app,” which will later be implemented for American users in October.
This merger between the two services has reportedly been in the works since 2017, as the service began to experience difficulties compared to YouTube, which became the world’s most popular streaming service. YouTube Music is also releasing a whole new set of features including a new explore tab, improved access for curated playlists and collaborative playlists, alongside better integration with Google Maps, Android TV, and Google Assistant smart speakers. While the app is free, it will be joining YouTube Originals and ad-free YouTube videos as part of YouTube Premium’s suite for $11.99 per month.
Google play first arrived in the scene in 2011 and later launched a free music streaming service in 2015. While streams have reportedly been down during the coronavirus pandemic, last year saw massive financial streaming revenues for major labels.