Google Play Music will not make it to 2021

New Zealand and South Africa will be the first to have functionality restricted on the music service.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

The long, slow death of Google Play Music finally has an end date, with Google announcing the music service will cease by December.

Prior to that date though, Google will begin to reduce app functionality and the ability to stream music. The first countries to lose streaming are New Zealand and South Africa in September, with the rest of the globe to follow in October.

"But don't worry, we will be holding onto things like your playlists, uploads, purchases, likes and more until December 2020 to make your transfer to YouTube Music easier," Google said in a blog post.

By the end of the month, users will not be able to purchase or pre-order music, nor upload or download music from the service via Google's Music Manager application. The search giant said users will instead need to migrate across to YouTube Music, or use its Takeout service, to download music.

"For users who decide not to transfer their Google Play Music account to YouTube music, we will be sure to cancel your subscription at the end of your billing cycle so you aren't paying for a subscription," Google said.

"This will happen in September in New Zealand and South Africa and in October for all other markets."

Also read: Google needs to break up its all-or-nothing approach to permissions

In May, Google began offering its Play Music customers the ability to transfer across to YouTube Music. The process shifts uploaded songs, purchases, personal and subscribed playlists, likes and dislikes, curated stations, and personal taste preferences.

Google is keeping the pricing the same between the services.

The death of Google Play Music was first flagged in July 2017.

In September, Google began replacing the preloaded Play Music app with YouTube Music in new Android devices.

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