Google to pull plug on Play Music, its streaming service that couldn't beat Spotify, in favour of YouTube Music

Phased shutdown ends December, and subs will be shunted to other platform

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Google will begin the process of shutting down its Play Music streaming service later this month, concluding in December when the tech giant nukes all user-uploaded tracks.

This phased approach will leave users unable to purchase or pre-order tracks through the service, and punters will also find themselves unable to upload their own local libraries to the service.

Streaming will be discontinued from September, with customers in South Africa and New Zealand first to lose access. That process will continue into October, with the rest of the world (including the US and UK) following suit.

Finally, in December, Google will actually pull the plug on the service, sending all user-uploaded tracks to the great /dev/null/ in the cloud.

Google Play Music was always something of an also-ran. It failed to dislodge Spotify, despite having the advantage of shipping with almost every Android device in circulation.

More to the point, Google had long expressed plans to discontinue the service, in favour of its YouTube Music service.

Strategically, this makes a lot of sense, as it allows Google to sell adjacent subscription services, like YouTube Premium (which also includes YouTube Music), as well as the US-only OTT cable replacement YouTube TV.

Still, the finality of Google Play Music will undoubtedly rub some the wrong way. If you're a subscriber, it's probably a good time to move your library over. ®

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