Google Play Music Shut Down Starts in September

Posted on August 4, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Google Play Music, YouTube Music with 42 Comments

Google Play Music is Getting a Major Refresh

Google revealed today via a support document that it will begin shutting down its Google Play Music service in September, with all subscribers off of the service—and on YouTube Music instead—by the end of December.

“Earlier this year, we announced our plan to sunset the Google Play Music experience,” the support document notes. “Starting September 2020, users will begin losing access to Google Play Music. This means you will no longer be able to listen to your music using Google Play Music. However, your music library will remain intact and can still be transferred to YouTube Music – you will have a minimum of 30 days after losing access to Google Play Music to complete your transfer. Not all Google Play Music users will lose access at the same time. This will happen on an ongoing basis between September and December 2020.”

Here’s the schedule:

August 2020. Access to the Music Store on Google Play, and Uploads to Google Play Music through Music Manager will start to go away.

September 2020. Access to Google Play Music begins going away for some users.

December 2020. Access to Google Play Music for all users is gone.

Google announced its plans to replace Google Play Music with YouTube Music in May, but it has been plotting this transition for over two years: It launched YouTube Music in 2018, and it has been steadily updating it since. And when Android 10 launched late last year, Google finally replaced Google Play Music with YouTube Music in the stock app install bundle.

I made the transition to YouTube Music a month or so ago and will detail my experience soon. The short version is that it’s mostly OK, but I miss a few niceties from Google Play Music and miss being able to cast to Sonos from the Google Play Music app. Also, if you use this app for podcasts, you’ll need to move to Google Podcasts or another app.

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Comments (49)

49 responses to “Google Play Music Shut Down Starts in September”

  1. robinwilson16

    This is a real shame.

    I always use Google Play Music free inside Sonos to listen to my uploaded music but now I am going to need to pay for Youtube Premium in order to get the same functionality I was getting free or find some other way to do it. I think I used to use OneDrive but and access to that was previously removed.

    Are there any alternatives that enable you to listen to your own music library from Sonos free.

    I don't really think a subscription is warranted if that is all I want to do.

  2. bluvg

    "it has been steadily updating it since."

    Really? It seems like it was crickets there for YouTube Music for a longgggg time.

  3. eeisner

    Damn this sucks. YT music still doesn't integrate a local library anywhere near as good as Play Music does. Hopefully Google plans to fix this soon...

  4. jgraebner

    I really hope they port Music Manager over to work with YouTube Music. Right now, uploading music that you own is only possible by selecting files or drag/drop on the website. That's a huge step down from the automated uploads with GPM.

  5. ronh

    If I can't play my music on my Sonos for free, i'll... I don't know what I will do,

    Can't wait for your write up on YouTube Music Paul.

    • ronh

      In reply to RonH:

      Just connected the YouTube music to my SONOS account.

      "YouTube Music on Sonos is only available to YouTube Music Premium members. Upgrade your account today:"

      That's CA$9.99/month to Get Music Premium to listen ad-free, offline & with your screen off

      So now I need to figure out how I will play my music at home on SONOS, and on my Android phone.

      • ommoran

        In reply to RonH:

        Fellow Canuck. Subscribe to Youtube Premium, you get music premium for free - and no more ads on Youtube on any of your devices.

        I just wish that your "favourites" for music and for Youtube's video weren't all combined. When I want to watch on the app on my TV, I don't want to see the bands/artists I've liked in music, I want to see the video channels I've subscribed to.

  6. dmaddogg

    Will I have to PAY to play the music I already purchased on Google Play Music? They can't expect me to PAY AGAIN for music I actually purchased???

  7. Jester

    I switched from GPM to YT music this weekend. I found YT Music doesn't id properly with bluetooth in the car. GPM works fine. There's a big on going Google support thread about this that they seem to be ignoring it.

  8. brettscoast

    Thanks for the heads up there, I'll be very interested in your thoughts on the transition to and experience of YouTube music going forward. I also have mixed reservations about this as I found Google play music generally very good. At least now we have some definitive time frames on the transition.

  9. luthair

    Absurdly Youtube Music on the web doesn't allow you to prevent videos from playing, nor does it allow you to use Chromecast Audio to listen to music unless you pay for their premium service.

  10. brian_c

    Am I understanding correctly, that from September you will no longer be able purchase mp3s from Google Play Music, and they don't plan on adding that to YouTube Music?

    I know I'm in the minority here, but I still like to purchase music when I find an album I like. I have Spotify and all that, but I find that I appreciate an album more when I buy it.

    In Ireland iTunes and Google Play were the only two places still selling mainstream digital music (the HD tracks website too, but that is a different market). iTunes was always more expensive than Google Play, but now its the only option. Can't see it lasting much longer either.

    Are CDs still sold? Back to Napster otherwise.

    • SvenJ

      In reply to brian_c: Can you avail yourself of Amazon? I buy CDs from them. They also allow you to download MP3s which you can then upload wherever still supports that. In some cases, the physical CD that is shipped to you is cheaper than buying the MP3s on Amazon, which they often put in your library automatically with a physical purchase. I have downloaded and uploaded then somewhere else befor ever having the CD in my hands before.

      • brian_c

        In reply to SvenJ:

        Amazon don't sell digital music in Ireland and here's the kicker. Where a digital copy comes with buying a cd, they completely block purchase of that cd to Irish addresses. So you can't get it at all. Since Amazon killed off most of the physical music shops, it's harder than ever to find a cd you like (although we still have a Tower Records in Dublin).

        I've discovered 7digital Music which seems to be holding the torch aloft for digital music sales.

  11. driftsk

    Talk about aggravating: unlike GPM, with YouTube Music a Premium subscription is required to download a playlist in the app; also, it is possible to download my entire Uploads library as a ZIP file on a PC, but only through Google Takeout (and it's not documented ANYWHERE).

    For personal collections of uploaded music, YTM is a massive setback.

  12. ph-sth

    Google Play Music was terrible. YouTube Music is somehow worse.

  13. tallguyse

    They need an Android TV app. When I searched the App Store for YouTube Music, it displayed Google Play Music.

  14. yoshi

    I've been on YouTube Music for a while now. It's... not the worst. I really only use it because my family wanted YouTube Premium and the music comes with it. If it wasn't for that, I'd be all in on Spotify.

  15. CompSciGuy31415

    I tried YouTube Music many times, but the UI is just lacks so many features that GPM offers. You can't even sort your playlists, not even in the web app.

  16. Thomas Parkison

    Another one for the already overcrowded Google Graveyard.

  17. kenosando

    Play Music has far better radio functionality than YT Music. I've heard way too many repeats in YT Music, and rarely are they deep tracks, usually a top 5 song from a given artist. At least all my local music is in YT now...

  18. JH_Radio

    Google Play Music was the best at its radio station feature in my opinion. I also love the UI. Amazon Music Unlimited HD radio station stuff is ok, but not as good as Google Play Music. I'm not a fan of the UI either. So does this mean that all of the thumbs up I've done transfer over to Youtube music now? I've done a lot of thumbing up over the years. Its what I used Play Music for, its radio station feature. not really doing much with the library.

  19. jeffrye

    Will I be able to upload my own music to YouTube music like I did with GPM? I don't see anything about it in the help section.

  20. jimchamplin

    I gave up on Google’s music offerings when they announced the change. Decided it was better to simply choose a service that wasn’t likely to be axed. Now I split my music between Apple and Spotify. My legacy library has been in iTunes for what feels like decades. Whenever it was that the online library was offered, I signed up.

    Spotify to me has better playlists and the UI doesn’t run at a glacier’s pace.

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