Today, Google has shared a detailed timeline for quitting Google Play Music. Access will be withdrawn in September for users in New Zealand and South Africa, and users in all other regions in October. The service will be completely closed next December, after which you will no longer be able to transfer your content. In addition, as of later this month, Google will no longer accept purchases for music from the Play Store.
Google is taking these big steps now that its YouTube Music service is in full swing as a replacement. Just a few months ago, it started allowing Google Play Music users to transfer practically every facet of their libraries to the new service, including playlists, artists, albums, songs, purchased content, recommendations, and uploads. Transferring all that content is as easy as opening the YouTube Music app for the first time. You will see something similar to the above screen, but we have an explanation of the process if you need a little more help.
Google promised it would be amply notified before Play Music was shut down, so you’re fine with that. You can keep using the service until it shuts down, but if you get a new device with Android 10 loaded, you will find YouTube Music pre-installed instead of Google Play Music. So you might as well start the adjustment process before you are forced to do so.
As my colleague Chris Welch wrote in May when Google announced the transfer tool for YouTube Music:
Open Google Play Music a bit and remember the good times. The app has been ignored for so long that it looks like an old, comforting friend frozen in the sands of time. Don’t be fooled though: the days are numbered. It’s time to move on. Take a deep breath and press that transfer button.