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What Happened to Google Play Music?

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For a while, Google Play Music was a competitor to popular music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. Granted, it might not have been a worthy competitor in terms of number of subscribers, but it was an alternate service for Google users.

If you’ve recently tried to access your old content from Google Play Music, you may have noticed that it’s not there anymore. So, where did it go?

Here’s everything you need to know about what happened to Google Play Music and where your content went.

What Happened to Google Play Music?

In 2006, Google acquired YouTube in a bid to get into the video sharing market. Five years later, Google launched Google Play Music in 2011. In addition, YouTube also launched YouTube Music in 2015.

According to USA Today, Google Play Music and YouTube Music combined had 20 million subscribers five years later in 2020.

When you compare this to larger music subscription services such as Spotify (113 million subscribers), Apple Music (60 million), and Amazon Music (55 million), the numbers weren’t where the company wanted them to be.

Related: You Can Now Play Songs Directly From Search in YouTube Music

Knowing this, Google probably realized that it didn’t make sense for it to have two competing music streaming services, especially when those two services weren’t doing so well individually.

Google officially announced the end of Google Play Music in 2020. Here’s how YouTube Music benefitted from it.

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How YouTube Music Benefitted From Google Play Music’s End

After the merger between Google Play Music and YouTube Music, the company was able to make several moves, including consolidating its subscriber base and focusing its marketing efforts on one service. Aside from this, YouTube Music also released numerous features to enhance user experience for it’s free, ad-supported, and paid versions.

For example, YouTube Music introduced expanded playlist customization. Instead of 1,000 songs, playlists on YouTube Music can now have up to 5,000 songs.

YouTube Music on iPad

In addition, you can have up to 100,000 personal tracks in your YouTube Music library, in place of Google Play Music’s limit of 50,000 tracks. Similar to Google Play Music, YouTube Music subscribers can also download music to play it offline.

Furthermore, YouTube is known for suggesting great related content. With this same algorithm, YouTube Music effectively helps subscribers find new artists and songs from its huge library of over 50 million official tracks and perform quick searches while in a playlist.

According to The Verge, YouTube Music secured over 50 million subscribers in 2021. YouTube Music costs $9.99/month. However, if you want access to video content and YouTube Originals, you can pay $11.99/month for YouTube Premium.

Where Did My Google Play Music Go?

Google play music pulled up on a samsung smartphone with earbuds laying near it

Google announced the change from Google Play Music to YouTube Music months in advance, including how to move all their content over to the new platform. Unfortunately, for anyone who wants access to their content from Google Play Music after the deadline, you’re out of luck.


Related: How to Play YouTube Music From Your Smartphone via Bluetooth

In December 2020, Google Play Music stopped functioning. In addition, the last day users could download or transfer their data from Google Play Music to YouTube Music was February 24, 2021. After this date, all data from the music library was permanently wiped out with no way to access it again.

When the transition was ongoing, Google Play had a tool that helped users move their entire library, profile, and playlists to YouTube Music. Unfortunately, this is no longer possible. So, if you didn’t take advantage of this, you’ll have to start fresh with building a new library on a music app of your choice.

Learn the Essentials on YouTube Music

As we’ve learned from our smartphone software updates, we don’t necessarily like change. But after some time, we can get used to it and occasionally, even be grateful for the new features.

Although Google Play Music might have been a staple for many of us in the music streaming world, YouTube Music is a worthy successor. With a ton of new features, YouTube Music can rival Spotify or Apple Music, and might even be your new favorite music streaming platform.

So, just like with any new service, it is best to educate yourself on all the neat facets the platform has to offer before you discard it and move on to your next option.


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