It's official: Google Play Music will bite the dust sometime later this year. In anticipation of this, YouTube Music unveiled a new tool on Tuesday to transfer your entire library, profile and playlists from Google's streaming service to the refreshed YouTube service with just one tap. YouTube Music also gets some new features that make it a bigger competitor to streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.
Google has not said exactly when its music streaming service will disappear, although we've been waiting more than a year for it to happen. For now, users will have access to both services, giving them time to transfer their music and get used to the YouTube Music interface. You will get enough notice before Google Play Music finally shuts down, Google said in a blog post.
Read more: Best music streaming service for 2020: Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and more
As last year, YouTube Music and Premium had 20 million paid subscribers. Where YouTube Music stands out from its competitors is the deep integration with your YouTube and Google profiles, which translates into better recommendations for you, the companies say. Since many people use YouTube to discover music, the Music app tracks your video searches and determines what you want to hear next.
Move your music from Google Play Music to YouTube Music
1. Download the YouTube music app for iOS or Android. (Or, to do it from a desktop, go to music.youtube.com/transfer and click transfer.)
2. You will see a transfer button at the top of the screen in both Google Play Music and YouTube Music. Tap it in both apps and your uploads, purchases, added songs and albums, personal and subscribed playlists, likes and dislikes, curated stations and personal taste preferences will all transition from Google Play Music to YouTube Music.
3. Depending on how much music is in your library, the move can take several hours. You can close the app while using your phone and open it again to keep track of progress if you want. You will receive a notification and an email when your music library transfer is complete.
4. Open YouTube Music and find your music on the Library tab and updated recommendations.
If you listen to podcasts on Google Play Music, you can also transfer your subscriptions and episode progress to Google Podcasts by going to this site.
What is the deal with YouTube Music?
YouTube Music works through an app and web player and offers over 50 million official songs, albums, deep cuts, B-sides, live performances and remixes.
YouTube recently added several new features based on user feedback:
- Creating Playlists: Playlists can now contain up to 5,000 songs (instead of the previous 1,000). You can also quickly search from a playlist to add a new song and add music videos along with songs to playlists. Google Play Music channels can now be found in YouTube Music as playlists and you can search through their tracks.
- Uploads: Listen to your uploaded and purchased music from Google Play Music after transferring it, or add up to 100,000 personal songs to your library in YouTube Music (Google Play Music only allowed 50,000).
- Listening Offline: Paying members can download any song, playlist or music video, or have a smart download feature (currently only available on Android) do it for you.
- Explore Tab: A new Explore tab provides music detection, including new music and playlists by atmosphere or genre.
Another nice feature: switch while listening to the lyrics of a song to prepare karaoke, or go to the video clip that plays with the song in real time.
How much does the switch to YouTube Music cost?
At the moment, prices are the same between Google Play Music and YouTube Music. You can listen to an ad-supported version of YouTube Music for free, or pay $ 9.99 a month for YouTube Music Premium, including background listening, downloads, and an ad-free experience. You can also subscribe to YouTube Premium to get those YouTube-wide benefits, for $ 11.99 a month.
Google Play Music Unlimited members are automatically moved to the equivalent of YouTube Music Premium or YouTube Premium for the same price based on their current subscription.
For more information, see 5 tips and tricks to get the most out of YouTube Music.