The shutdown of Google Play Music begins this month

5 Aug 2020

Image: © piter2121/

Google has advised users to transfer their music collections to YouTube Music before Google Play Music is wound down completely in December.

In May, Google announced that it was finally killing off the Google Play Music app and transitioning existing customers to YouTube Music.

Now, Google has provided detailed information to users regarding the sunsetting of Google Play Music, which will begin winding down at the end of August 2020.

First introduced in 2011, the music app let users stream music and podcasts, and upload up to 100,000 MP3s from their existing libraries to listen to on different devices.

Shifting users to YouTube Music

For the last few months, Google has been helping users on Google Play Music transition to YouTube Music. Now, the company has announced that all music collections on Google Play Music will be deleted in December and has set out a timeline showing users what to expect.

From the end of August, users will no longer be able to upload or download music through Google Play Music’s music manager feature, while the function that allows pre-orders and purchases will be shut off.

In September, the company is shutting down the streaming service for users in New Zealand and South Africa, followed by a global shutdown in October. The company will scrap the Google Music app and the website will no longer be accessible.

In December, the company is deleting all music collections on the platform. In a statement, YouTube Music said that the time frame between August and December should give users ample time to transfer their music libraries and playlists to the newer streaming platform.

“Don’t worry, we will be holding onto things like your playlists, uploads, purchases, likes and more until December 2020 to make your transfer to YouTube Music easier,” YouTube said.

“For Google Play listeners that have not yet started the transfer process over to YouTube Music, now’s the time. Listeners can also choose to delete their Google Play Music data, and we will clearly notify all users before they lose access to their Google Play Music library and data.”

New features on YouTube Music

As YouTube Music welcomes new users, it announced that it is introducing new features including assistive playlist creation, collaborative playlists and new programmed playlists.

The company has also introduced a redesigned player page for Android mobile users, which provides more playback controls and easier access to related music and song lyrics. There are changes to the Explore tab on both mobile and web to help users find new releases and discover new music through YouTube’s moods and genre playlists.

Google has introduced an update for Android TV that enables YouTube Music users to watch music videos and listen to music through their TVs, along with a Google Maps feature that lets listeners get personalised music recommendations within the Google Maps interface.

According to Ars Technica, YouTube Music will blend together a user’s entire YouTube activity history with their music collection, bringing liked videos and subscriptions that have been flagged as music into a user’s collection.

In YouTube Music’s statement, the company said: “Over the 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.

“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.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic