+ Thursday June 27th, 2019

While Google is moving some of its services to its own brand (e.g. G Pay replacing Android Pay), some services its moving away. Google Play Music is one such service, with Google confirming last year that the service would be rolled into YouTube Music and no longer directly Google branded.

Part of the Google Play Music offering was the Google Play Artist Hub. Most of us would never have heard of it, but this service allowed smaller / independent musicians to sell their music on the Play Store without having to deal with record companies or intermediaries. In other words, probably a good thing.

In an email sent around this week, Google has advised these independent musicians that the Google Play Artist Hub service will be closed at the end of this month, and those users will have to sign with an intermediary to continue to sell their music:

With the launch of YouTube Music last year, we eventually plan to replace Google Play Music with YouTube Music. In anticipation of this change, we are shutting down the Artist Hub.

Moving forward, if these independent musos wish to sell their music on Google Play (and have it available in YouTube Music) they can, but not directly anymore.

From 30 April, songs and albums uploaded via Google Play Artist Hub will disappear from the Play Store (including the radio and streaming services). Instead, artists will have to work with YouTube partners including AWAL, Believe, CD Baby, DistroKid, Stem or TuneCore:

What does this mean for Google Play Music users, though?

Well, that’s less clear. Will the Play Store continue to sell music in an era of subscription music streaming? What will happen when Google Play Music ultimately complets its transition to YouTube Music – will purchased music still be available? What if you’ve bought independent music and it disappears from the service at the end of this month?

My personal view? This transition from Google Play Music to YouTube Music is one migration that I’m not really keen on. Android Wear to Wear OS was fine. Android Pay to Google Pay (or G Pay) was a good idea and well executed. No one lost any functionality.

With the move from Google Play Music to YouTube Music, we could lose a lot of functionality, and it’s feeling more like the shuttering of Inbox – a popular service, well used, that ultimately will end in a frenzied migration of features once Google realises it’s screwed up.

Chris Rowland   Managing Editor

Chris Rowland

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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Paul HaydenQuasarNeerav BhattGokiburiAlex Macafee Recent comment authors
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Going to admit I’m a bit surprised this is happening already given that despite my enjoyment of youttube music, there’s really been no movement on major features of GPM migrating over.

Any yeah, the locker is the main feature I’m interested in (of course I’d rather see google license all the music I want so I’d not have to buy music and maintain a locker). Though I also want something that makes importing of playlists actually work.


This is indicative of one of the things I really dislike about Google. The company doesn’t appear to show any respect or empathy to its clients, partners and customers. It’s like we are all gnats living on the back of a giant worm which has no idea we exist.

Alex Macafee
Ausdroid Reader

I think I’m going to be that person that refuses to migrate until the very final minute, youtube music is just terrible compared to GPM, really wish Google would stop trying to replace their perfectly functional services with half baked alternatives

Neerav Bhatt
Ausdroid Team

Totally agree with you Alex. I will hang on until the last sad day when Google Play music is killed 🙁

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith

Honestly kind of looking to replace YouTube/Google Music with something else and actually just migrate away from Google services in general. I moved my domain to AWS with email in Fastmail, Hangouts it going to trying to move to Signal. I might just set up my own music service so I can stream my content from home.

I can’t see any point in staying with Google services when they either get closed down completely or replaced with something that’s worse.

Clyde Jones
Ausdroid Reader

And what happens to users uploaded personal music? Will that migrate into YouTube Music or just disappear?

Christian Clark
Christian Clark

that’s what I want to know too LOL

Paul Hayden
Paul Hayden

Exactly !!!! There are going to be some mighty pissed off users if this music just disappears !!!!

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