Due to the shifting music streaming landscape, Google has taken to their blog to announce the Google Play music and podcasting service will begin phased shutdowns in the last quarter of the year. Plans to merge the two platforms has been public information since July 2017. However, this is the first time an official expiration date has been given to the Google Play platform.
Beginning in September 2020, New Zealand and South Africa users will no longer be able to stream from or use the Google Play Music app. The next phase begins in October for all other global markets. According to Google, Google Play will retain user playlists, uploads, purchases, likes, and other data until December 2020 to give consumers time to transfer to YouTube Music. After the end of the year, Google Play Music libraries will no longer be available.
The upgraded YouTube Music service is looking to compete with industry leaders Spotify and Apple Music in the ongoing streaming wars between major digital streaming platforms. YouTube Music will be introducing a range of new services not previously supported through Google Play, such as collaborative playlists, Android TV integration, and a completely redesigned user interface.
Read the full YouTube blog post here.