YouTube Music on smartphone stock photo 4

  • YouTube Music is now set to replace Google Play Music by the end of 2020.
  • The transition will start in New Zealand and South Africa in September.
  • Other countries will switch in October, but data will stay until December.

Google has repeatedly warned that it’s shutting down Play Music in favor of YouTube Music, and now the end is nearly at hand. The internet pioneer has revealed that YouTube Music will officially replace its Google Play counterpart by the end of 2020.

The shutdown will start in September, when users in New Zealand and South Africa will lose use of the Google Play Music app. All other countries will follow in October. Music libraries will remain intact until December, so you’ll still have an opportunity to transfer your collection to YouTube Music for weeks afterward.

Some features will go away before then. Google will pull the options to buy and pre-order music in the Play Store in late August. You’ll have to either use the transfer tool to send purchases to YouTube Music or rely on Google Takeout to export your data and download all your purchased and uploaded tracks. Google will also remove the options to upload and download Play Music songs through Music Manager.

Read more: The best Google Play Music and YouTube Music alternatives

Customers who don’t transfer will have their subscription cancelled at the end of the billing cycle when Google Play Music shuts down in their country.

The company is touting numerous upgrades to YouTube Music as an incentive to make the leap, including a revamped player page, the Explore tab, smarter playlist creation, and integration within platforms like Android TV and Google Assistant.

The advance notice and improved feature list should help make for a relatively gentle transition. However, this might not do much to please those who think the YouTube Music transition is a mistake. Critics have argued that the replacement service is too focused on YouTube, with shortcomings in its recommendations, offline mode, and autoplay, among other areas. If you’re determined to stay with a Google music service, you may have to accept some rough edges in the near term.

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