So long Google Play Music, we barely knew you. Well, that’s not true—we’ve known you for almost nine years, and you’ve come pre-installed on about a billion Android phones. But you won’t be around much longer: Google is retiring Play Music in October, in favor of the shiny new YouTube Music.
Play Music had a promising start, offering an alternative to the iTunes store for MP3 purchases and giving users free storage to stream tens of thousands of their own songs from Google’s servers. Google eventually added a premium option and ad-supported streaming stations. But the writing has been on The Wall for Play Music for a while, as the digital music scene shifted towards all-in-one services like Spotify. YouTube Music is Google’s answer to this, and it’s already been urging its customers to move their existing libraries over.
The Play Store’s MP3 storefront will shutdown later this month, with no more sales accepted from users. Streaming purchased or uploaded music will end in September in New Zealand and South Africa (for some reason), with the rest of the world following in October.
Google will store customers’ music and playlists for a little longer, not deleting all data until December. Users will have until then to initiate a transfer to YouTube Music, where purchases, uploads, and playlists will be preserved.