Google has been planning to kill off Play Music in favor of YouTube Music for some time, it's just that the company has been waiting until the latter reaches feature-parity with Play Music. Now that it's almost ready to make the switch, Google has updated YouTube Music with an easy way to transfer over your music library.
The process is pretty straightforward. Once users who subscribe to Play Music download the YouTube Music app, they'll be prompted to transfer their Play Music library over with one tap. Google says all the following will be transferred: Manual uploads, purchases, added songs and albums, personal and subscribed playlists, likes and dislikes, curated stations, and personal taste preferences.
The transfer process may take some time, so Google says users will be notified via email once it's complete.
Podcasts won't live in the YouTube Music app, so Google has created a separate tool for transferring those libraries over to Google Podcasts.
Google hasn't announced exactly when Play Music will be gone for good, except to say it will be "later this year."
Unifying around YouTube — Despite the rise of streaming subscription services, YouTube is still one of the dominant places people go to hear music. Those visitors have to see advertisements, so Google likely sees it as an ideal place to upsell to a subscription option with familiar branding. The name "Google Play Music" was also just bad.
YouTube Music is still a pretty small player in the world of streaming music apps, with estimates suggesting it has 6 percent share of the market. Spotify remains the largest with 31 percent of the market. Despite its small slice of the streaming pie, Google Play Music has some loyal users because it allows them to upload up to 50,000 of their own tracks, and then stream them to any connected device.
Pricing remains unchanged — Like Spotify, YouTube Music costs $9.99 per month for an ad-free experience. Or for $11.99 per month, users can eliminate ads across Music and YouTube proper. Pricing is the same with Play Music so anyone who transfers from that service won't need to pay any extra.
Google has updated YouTube Music with a slew of new features recently, including an explore tab for finding new music as well as the ability to add up to 5,000 songs to a playlist for some reason.