Google’s known for running multiple overlapping services at the same time—its handling of a plethora of messaging services is something of a running joke in tech news. Another example is Google Play Music, launched back in 2011, and YouTube Music, the competing brand that Google launched as a means of capitalizing on YouTube’s status as a de facto music repository.
After years of uncertainty and cross-promotions, Google is finally preparing to transition users of Play Music onto YouTube Music in a permanent capacity. Over the next few weeks, Play Music users will get emails and in-app prompts to transfer their libraries over to YouTube Music. This transfer process will include all of the major functions of Play Music, including:
- Purchased songs and albums
- Uploaded personal music (upload limit is being upgraded to 100,000 songs)
- Saved playlists
- Podcast subscriptions (now living on the Google Podcasts app)
Users don’t have to initiate the transfer for now, and free users won’t be charged for any new services. Those who subscribe to Google Play Music for premium features like ad-free radio streams can pay for the same features with YouTube Music Premium—they’re both $10 a month for individual accounts.
Not all Google users with a Play Music account will see the Transfer alerts or emails immediately. But at some point in the near but unspecified future, Google will begin shutting down Play Music in earnest.