Google Play Music users will eventually find themselves and their user-uploaded libraries shifting over to the YouTube Music app, according to a report from The Verge. YouTube Music has been gradually rolling out an update that brings a facelift and a number of new features alongside a new premium option that’s meant to bring the service into direct competition with the likes of Spotify and Pandora, overlapping significantly with the purpose and function of Google Play Music. One important distinction thus far has been that Google Play Music gives users the ability to upload a massive amount of songs from their own collection, and apparently that functionality will not only make the jump to YouTube Music eventually, but so will users’ libraries, playlists, and associated preferences.
For the time being, nothing will happen to Google Play Music, even as YouTube Music’s premium option gets its beloved features and massive library. Elias Roman, a product manager for Google who has handled both Google Play Music and YouTube Music, said that both services will remain intact for now. Roman also says that Google Play Music lovers have nothing to worry about for the time being, and Google will give users ample warning before any big changes like discontinuing a service or app. The target time frame to get key functionality from Google Play Music into YouTube Music is some time in 2019, though Google may not force users to switch and deacivate the former app for quite a while.
YouTube Music is supposedly going to get the ability to play local files from a user’s device in addition to handling user uploads, and allow users to purchase music from the Google Play library that will stick even if a user’s subscription lapses and can be downloaded for offline listening. Curated playlists are already a feature on YouTube, and presumably, once users’ playlists from Google Play Music make the jump, their preferences in that app will be mingled with their YouTube Music habits. There was no mention of whether a premium subscription will be required for any of these features, but Google Play Music offered all of that for free, so there’s no real reason to believe that YouTube Music will be any different.