One of the best features of Google Play Music is the ability to upload and stream your own content in a kind of digital locker. Google’s outdated music service allows you to upload as much music as you want for free at bitrates up to 320kbps.
Now, finally, we have info to suggest that Google is currently internally testing a similar feature for YouTube Music (via 9to5Google). What’s more, it looks like this feature could land on YouTube Music quite soon.
While this is certainly great news for fans of YouTube Music, it’s also bittersweet, as this almost certainly portends that the death of Google Play Music is nearer than ever.
Originally, Google confirmed that not only would YouTube Music get its own upload locker but that people using Google Play Music would be able to transfer their already-uploaded content to YouTube Music easily. While we don’t yet know for certain if this will be true, the evidence supplied by 9to5Google appears to confirm that the locker feature itself will come to pass. Therefore, it only makes sense that GPM uploads would transfer to YTM.
What we’re most curious about, though, is whether user uploads will also be unlimited and free on YouTube Music. Both YouTube Music and Google Play Music have free and premium tiers, and it’s very possible Google could reserve locker uploads for premium members only. In fact, that could be a way to drive YTM subscriptions: tell GPM users that they can easily transfer their libraries to YTM, but to use it they’ll need to pay for the service.
That’s all speculation, but we have nothing to say that Google won’t do that, so we must at least entertain it as a possibility.
One thing is relatively certain, though, which is that YTM will very likely not support 320kbps bitrates. Google went on the record saying it has no plans to offer bitrates higher than 256kbps.
Regardless, there’s little doubt now that Google Play Music will vanish or at least start to vanish this year. If you are still using GPM as your music service of choice, it’s time to start planning to migrate elsewhere. May we recommend this article for a possible option that isn’t YouTube Music?