Google Play Music will cease to exist by the end of this year and merge with YouTube Music, its parent company Alphabet has announced in a new blog post.
Announcing the news on Tuesday (August 4), the company said existing Google Play Music users will need to transfer their libraries to YouTube Music before the app prevents them from streaming new music in September (for New Zealand and South Africa) or October (everywhere else).
Google Play Music will hold on to users’ playlists, uploads, purchases and likes until December in order to give them enough time to transfer. To encourage users to make the swap, YouTube Music has been upgrading its features in recent months, focusing on playlist creation functions and a new ‘explore’ tab.
“Over the last few years, we’ve worked to build a fantastic fan experience on YouTube Music, merging the very best of Google Play Music with the very best of YouTube,” the blog post read.
“For users who decide not to transfer their Google Play Music account to YouTube Music, we will be sure to cancel your subscription at the end of your billing cycle so you aren’t paying for a subscription.”
As Billboard reported back in 2017, the merger of Google Play Music and YouTube Music has been a point of discussion for years now. YouTube’s global head of music Lyor Cohen said combing Google’s two premium streaming services, Google Play and YouTube Red (now YouTube Premium), is important for building subscriber numbers.
“The first and most important thing is combining YouTube Red and Google Play Music and having one offering,” Cohen said.
“And then going out there and being loud and proud about what they built, then getting the credibility of our partners and the music rights holders [and showing] that we actually care about building a subscription business.”