Google Play Music is no longer available on Smart Speakers
Google is moving forward with its ‘death by 1000 cuts’ for Google Play Music after the service was removed from Google Assistant-powered smart speakers including the Google Nest Home range, and third-party devices (via ArsTechnica). This means that subscribers will automatically find their speakers set to YouTube Music by default from now on, with the Google Play Music option removed from settings. As ever, this can be overridden manually by a number of alternatives including Spotify, Tidal, and Deezer.
The company has made it clear that after several years of delays caused as it created feature parity for successor product YouTube Music, it would fully retire the service before the end of 2020. YouTube Music now allows you to transfer purchases from Google Play, and upload your own files, for streaming only. Alternatively, purchases can be downloaded to migrate away altogether, via Google Takeout.
However, rather than work to a hard end-date, Google has been turning off aspects of the service by product line, and sometimes by territory. Last week saw the end of support for Google Play Music on Wear OS devices, despite there being no YouTube Music app for wearables (yet).
There’s little doubt that after all the months of faffing about, Google is determined to finally press ahead with retirement for the service, which is just shy of its ninth birthday. Earlier in the month, Google stopped sales of mp3 downloads through the Google Play Store, as it goes all-in on streaming.
The next stage of the process will involve the gradual removal of access to the Google Play Music app and web portal, which is being done on a rolling basis, by region, throughout the remainder of the year. Google now considers the service depreciated and users are strongly advised to migrate soon, as they may lose access with no further notice.