On August 4, the YouTube Official Blog announced in a post that Google Play would be entirely phased out by the end of 2020. Plans to merge the two platforms together have been public since July 2017, but this announcement is the first to assign an official departure date to the Google Play platform for good. The process will take place in multiple phases, beginning with users losing the ability to purchase and download music in the app later this month. Users in New Zealand and South Africa will no longer be able to stream music in the app beginning in September, and users from the rest of the global market will lose access in October.
Google Play users have plenty of time to transfer their libraries and playlists to the new YouTube-based service, and can do so through the companies easy-to-use transfer service. Paid subscribers will be awarded an equivalent tier at the same price after migrating to YouTube Music. The upgraded YouTube Music service is looking to compete with industry leaders Spotify and Apple Music by introducing a range of new services not previously supported through Google Play such as collaborative playlists, Android TV integration, and a completely redesigned user interface.
Read the full YouTube blog post here.