Google Play Music is shutting down soon. Google says you should switch to YouTube Music. But the features set just isn’t the same.
Google’s transport tool makes it easy to bring your music collection over from GPM to YouTube Music. But many features are missing or no longer free on YouTube Music. It’s gotten so bad that many former GPM users are looking for ‘GPM alternatives.’ For the record, this GPM user switched to Spotify.
One of the most glaring omissions is that playing music over smart speakers was free with GPM. Not so with YouTube Music. Want to request a song you uploaded mid-workout on a treadmill? You better have a YouTube Premium subscription for that request. Otherwise, you’re SOL. Do you like to use your GPM playlists on your WearOS smartwatch while out for a run? Too bad, because once GPM is killed, you’ll be forced to wait for an on-device YTM app.
Issues like these have caused people who were avid GPM users to switch music streaming services entirely.
For the first time, Google is now responding to these issues raised by tech bloggers. In response to an Ars Technica article, “YouTube Music is holding my speakers for ransom,” here’s what Google says.
“We understand that uploaded content is an integral part of the listening experience for many of our users across YouTube Music. While several features for uploaded content aren’t currently working in the free YouTube Music experience, we’re working hard to address these feature gaps and bring additional functionality to our free-tier user. We look forward to sharing more updates soon.”
That answer is pretty vague when there are so many glaring issues with YouTube Music. Requiring users to pay a monthly fee to stream music on a device they own is asinine. There’s also no way to sort between your YouTube video playlists and your YouTube music playlists. The app itself is a clusterf—k to use for anyone who has a long history on YouTube. Google seems committed to fixing it, but not before killing off GPM.
The message I’m getting is that GPM users should find an alternative music service. That’s especially true if you want your music service dedicated exclusively to music and podcasts. However, that may not be the case much longer. Spotify is building out its video offering after acquiring the Joe Rogan podcast. You can expect to see more video content popping up there over the next few years.