Google is turning it easy for Google Play Music users to migrate to the company’s already chosen music service, YouTube Music, ahead of their efforts later this year to shut down Google Play Music. A new “switch” feature available in the app would allow Google Play Music users to migrate their collections, personal taste preferences, and playlists to the new YouTube Music service from today.
The company has been working continuously to make YouTube Music the default music service, ultimately replacing Google Play Music. For eg, last year Google shut down the Google Play Artist Center and began pre-installing YouTube Music on Android smartphones.
It said those moves were part of its broader plan to combine the two companies at the time. Now we have a deadline of sorts for the end-of-life of Google Play Music — sometime later this year, according to an announcement from Google.
One challenge in this move was Google Play users’ desire to maintain Google Play Music’s personalization preferences, catalog, and playlists while switching to the new service. The concept of beginning from scratch after building up years of experience on Google Play Music was not accepted by most users.
This is where the new choice for “transfer” comes in today.
Users can now click on a “move” button on iOS and Android on YouTube Music to start uploading their uploads, purchases, added songs, and tracks, personal and subscribed playlists, likes and dislikes, curated stations, and personal taste preferences.
Upon delivery, users will instantly see an updated home screen of YouTube Music showing the effect of this new data on their customized recommendations. YouTube Music will also give users emails when the transition is complete and their music has been completely added to the “List” tab in the app.
Current customers will be informed of the transfer option in an email with more specific instructions in it.
Google also answered customer reviews from Google Play Music by pushing out new features to YouTube Music to make its current service more consistent (as regards feature set) with the older one.
Recently, it introduced expanded playlist length (from 1,000 to 5,000 songs), upload support (up to 100,000 tracks — 50,000 more than Google Play Music), offline listening, lyrics, and an Explore tab to discover new music, playlists, and genres.
Podcast listeners can visit a web page (http:/podcasts.google.com/transfer) with a single click to move their subscriptions and episode progress to Google Podcasts. Like YouTube Music, the Google Podcasts app can act as Google’s default podcast listening experience, similar to how Apple’s Podcasts are its own dedicated audio program app.
Meanwhile, Apple announced its Apple Music service topping 60 million subscribers last year; Spotify now has 130 million paid subscribers as of Q1 2020.
YouTube Music is sold at the same subscription price of $9.99 a month as Google Play Music, which includes downloading on-demand, background listening, offline access, and an ad-free experience. Users can expand the experience to YouTube via YouTube Premium for $11.99 a month.
The struggles of YouTube Music are since Google operates two separate music services that divide its customer base. When Google Play Music shuts down completely that could change.