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So long, Google Play Music – Your guide to YouTube Music

If you were a Google Play Music subscriber, it’s time to say your goodbyes. The company announced Google Play Music is ending and will be transitioned over to YouTube Music. If you’re confused as to how this change will work and exactly how YouTube Music works, we’ve got answers!

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First off, just what is YouTube Music and how does it compare to other streaming giants, like Spotify? And for Google Play Music subscribers, how does the transition work? We’ve got all these answers and more, so if you’re ready to get started with YouTube Music, read on for everything you’ll need to know.

What is YouTube Music and how does it work?

YouTube Music is Google’s successor to Google Play Music, and it’s another music streaming service at heart. It has all the familiar features you’d expect with a major audio streaming platform in 2020: the ability to stream an enormous library of tens of millions of tracks of music and music videos, strong compatibility across devices, ready to go playlists and both a free and premium option.

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When it comes to the interface, YouTube Music will be largely familiar to users of other streaming services: You can search for and play songs directly, even on the free tier subscription, as well as make playlists, like songs, and discover new music. Like Spotify, YouTube Music does not offer you the option to download music for later offline playing.

Perhaps the biggest difference between YouTube Music and a service like Spotify is that YouTube Music requires you to keep the application open to play music, so if you’re on an iPhone or Android device, you can’t minimize the application, keep your music playing and use another app. When you minimize the YouTube Music app, whatever’s playing will stop.

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As far as pricing goes, for a single user, YouTube Music comes with a free one month trial and then it’s $9.99 a month. For a family of up to six users, it’s $14.99 a month. This is right in line with a service like Spotify. There is also a student plan for $4.99 a month for eligible students and annual verification required.

How to transition from Google Play Music

First, you’re going to need to download the YouTube Music app, which is available on both iOS and Android. The actual transferring over is done in a single click through this website. Once you’re on this site, click the transfer now button found at the bottom of the screen. The transfer could take up to 24 hours.

What’s important to remember is what exactly transfers over:

  • Your Google Play Music library, which includes:
    • Your uploaded & purchased songs
    • Your playlists & many stations
    • Albums & songs in your library
  • Your likes and dislikes (songs you’ve given a thumbs up or down)
  • Your billing information for your subscription if you’re a current Google Play Music subscriber
    • Google will convert your Google Play Music subscription to the equivalent tier of YouTube Music Premium or YouTube Premium (based on the level of benefits with your current subscription). Your monthly billing price and benefits will remain the same unless you are in a location with fluctuating currency.*

Making the switch to YouTube Music isn’t complicated. There is a dedicated page from Google that can answer any questions regarding your account that you may have. Happy streaming!

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