Google Play Music will reportedly be shuttered. The timetable? September for Australia and New Zealand, October for everyone else. Users will have until end-of-year to retrieve their cloud-stored music.
The existing YouTube Music will take over as Google’s on-demand streaming service. YouTube Music launched in May, 2018. (We reviewed it HERE.) Google Play Music has been part of the Google Play app and content store, a centerpiece of the Android mobile experience. The interactive music service has been a counterpoint to Spotify and Apple Music, and that role will be wholly assumed by YouTube Music.
This shift is helpful to what has been Google’s audio-related miasma of branding. The confusion of which service does what has extended to podcasting. Podcasts may be distributed by Google Play Music, and also (more recently) by Google Podcasts. In short (and in our opinion) Google’s audio-service branding has been a detrimental mess, and pushing Google Play Music off the cliff (“sunsetting” it, in polite corporate speak) clarifies things nicely.
That said, offering Youtube Music as an interactive cloud-based listening/subscription platform aligned with Spotify, Napster, and Deezer is a gnarly mixture of legacy YouTube (no subscription) and the contemporary version which provides a separate app to subscribers.