Even though it was first announced in 2017 that Google Play would eventually be folded into YouTube Music, it still may come as a shock to many that the day of reckoning will be arriving soon. Google recently announced that it will be turning off the lights on the platform in December. If you’re an artist, it might be a good idea to remind your fans on the platform that there’s still time to migrate their accounts before the due date.
Phasing out Google Play will happen in stages starting in August, when users will no longer be able to purchase or download music from the Google Play app. In October, most users will lose access to streaming (that happens in September first in New Zealand and South Africa).
Users can either cancel their subscriptions or move over to YouTube Music using a transfer tool. This was announced back in May and all users received an email at that time regarding the procedure. User’s Google Play podcast subscriptions are being moved over to the company’s free Google Podcasts app as part of the transition as well.
The fact of the matter is that Google Play has always been confusing for most users. It was somewhat transparent for Android users as the app came with the operating system, but the company always struggled trying to differentiate it from YouTube Music after that service was launched.
YouTube Music still lags far behind the other major services though. Google that its paid subscribers had reached the 20 million mark. That’s not much when you consider the reach that YouTube has, especially in the music space. It’s also still lagging far behind Apple Music (60 million subscribers) and Spotify (138 million subscribers) in paid users.
Still, it’s possible that YouTube Music will see a boost in paid subscribers after the transition from Google Play is final since there should be less confusion for the undecided user. If nothing else, both users and artists will enjoy the new clarity of just having a single Google music service to attend to in the future.