RIP Google Play Music — Google’s First Music Service Is Officially Shut Down

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Google has finally pulled the kill switch on Google Play Music — its first music streaming experiment is officially dead.

We’ve known about the Google Play Music shut down for well over a year now. As of today, the longtime Google music service is officially kaput.

Some early hints that GPM would be replaced by YouTube Music appeared as early as 2019. Google eventually replaced GPM with YouTube Music as the ‘default’ music player installed on new Android devices. Over the last three months, Google has issued not-so-subtle warnings about the impending demise. GPM users received notifications on the website and app that they could transfer their music to YouTube Music.

Now when you access the GPM website, you see a giant splash banner, “Google Play Music is no longer available.”

Below that, you see a prompt to transfer your music to the new platform. If you’d prefer not to switch to YouTube Music, you can download your full library. What’s most interesting is that, like most Google product rollouts, the shut down is happening in waves. Some GPM users may still be able to access the service until the wave hits their account.

For now, users with an updated Google Play Music app can revert to an older version of GPM. Turning off app updates and staying on that version might work in the interim. But once Google wipes the servers, the app will no longer work at all. One point of pain for GPM users is that there’s no easy way to export your locally stored data.

If you’ve already downloaded music for offline listening, you can’t manage that data anywhere in the app. Yet it still takes up space on the device. Users need to uninstall the app to reclaim that space, which is a hassle on older devices.

Google’s first music streaming experiment lasted a full nine years before it died. Unfortunately, YouTube Music is a shoddy replacement that’s missing several features. The transfer between GPM and YTM seems to be less than intuitive, with some playlists not transferring at all.

Some artists who were available on GPM aren’t available on YTM. But perhaps the biggest and most controversial change is doing away with the concept of stations altogether.

Any stations you enjoyed in GPM will be transformed into playlists when imported into YTM. YouTube Music offers curated, machine-generated playlists instead. GPM stations were more of a grab bag of human-curated content – which is mostly missing from YTM. YouTube Music also hides your uploaded music away in a section of its own.

4 Responses

  1. Pissed Off Rock Goddess

    The first month I put my album out on Google Play I had 900 downloads The next month

    No numbers

    It was like that for 3 months

    then numbers started coming back but we’re vastly reduced

    A few months later my numbers were 5 here 1 there

    I went to review my profile to update it and I saw 2 other accounts with my name but another person’s picture that was copied from an older promo shot of mine

    It was mocking…

    I looked at the day and these new profiles were created and wouldn’t you know they occurred around the same time my overseas numbers went missing

    Then the licencing agreements started showing up

    I turned every one down

    Google play was a front for the music monopoly.

    They encouraged indi musicians to sign up that it was a great place to go…

    As they shut down they encouraged us to go to you tube music

    So we could be disappeared some more

    Disappeared and robbed

    You are all the fucking scum of the earth

    You thought I was just some flakey musician

    You are wrong

    Enjoy your tail

    I hear those last bites are delicious


  2. who would have thunk it

    Its no surprise that googleplay is officially over. The creation of googleplay was a worldwide platform for independent artists. See intro video of the platform if you dont know that. So roughly two years ago…..they start this “transition to youtube” Why…no more direct artist upload. Googleplay was simple and worked. The industry could not have that….so….it got stopped. Who wins in the end…not the artist…not the music….the LAWYERS and EXECS……does the truth ring for you?

  3. Bust it

    NONE of the big players in streaming are friends of Independent artists. Not sure how to get fans to buy music exactly, but dumping sh*t in to the pit of Google is not the answer, though it’s hard to deny the pull of Youtube for videos at least.

  4. Greg

    Funking rip off over 50 tracks downloaded now can’t play them yet Google took money you should refund as to play tracks off line is now impossible you are conning bastards