Google Play Music's days are officially numbered: How to transfer to YouTube Music

Ever since YouTube Music became Google's primarily music streaming service, we knew Google Play Music wasn't long for this world. Today, after years of the two services coexisting, Google gave us a better idea of when Google Play Music will be shutting down. The big G says that YouTube Music will be replacing Google Play Music by December 2020, so if you're one of the remaining Google Play holdouts, you might want to begin the process of transferring your music library.

Beginning in September 2020, Google will shut down the Google Play Music app in New Zealand and South Africa, with shutdowns happening in "all other global markets" at some point in October. The good news is that you won't need to have your library transferred by then – you'll be able to transfer your music to YouTube Music through December 2020, with Google saying it will retain all of your playlists, uploads, purchases, and even likes until you're ready to make the transfer.

If you don't plan to transfer to YouTube Music, it sounds like you only have a limited amount of time to use the Music Manager to download your purchased and previously-uploaded songs. Beginning in late August, Google says that users will no longer be able to purchase, pre-order, upload, or download music through the Music Manager, though it seems you'll still be able to download your music, track metadata, and playlists through Google Takeout after Music Manager stops functioning.

If you're going to stick with Google as your music streaming provider, you can hop over to YouTube Music's transfer tool, sign in with your Google account, and begin the process of transferring over what is essentially your entire Google Play Music account. Data that will make the switch to YouTube Music includes music recommendations, your playlists, most of your radio stations, uploaded songs, purchased songs, and the albums and songs you've added to your library.

So, there you have it: Google Play Music's shut down is now looming after years of existing alongside YouTube Music. We'll let you know when Google announces more precise dates for the timeline listed above, so stay tuned for more.