Google has informed users of its Play Music service that it will delete all of their data today, 24 February 2021.
This includes your music library with any uploads, purchases, and anything you’ve added from Google Play Music, the company said.
It warned that after today there will be no way to recover the data.
The company is encouraging subscribers to switch to YouTube Music.
Those who have already migrated have the option to transfer their data from Google Play Music again in the event that they made any changes that have not yet been synchronised with YouTube Music.
“If you would like to download your Google Play Music library and data, you can do so with Google Takeout before February 24, 2021,” the company stated.
RIP Google Music: May 2011 – February 2021
The precursor to the Google Play Music streaming service, simply called Google Music, launched in beta form during May 2011.
Initially only available in the United States (though the geoblocking was only a minor technical hurdle), Google’s approach was to allow users to upload their own music.
Why go through the headache of securing the streaming rights from copyright holders when you can enable users to essentially create their own personal streaming service from music they already own?
This core “free cloud locker for music” service remained part of Google Play Music until its demise. For many years it was the platform’s major differentiator from its competitors.
However, with the launch of YouTube Red (now YouTube Premium), Google’s competitive advantage has become bundling music streaming with YouTube Premium. YouTube Premium lets you remove the ads from YouTube for R110 per month.
In 2013, Google announced the addition of “All Access” to its recently rebranded Google Play Music service. This added a Spotify-like music streaming component to the service.
No longer would you have to buy and upload your music, now you could get access to an all-you-can-eat library of music from the top labels in the business.
Google Play Music officially launched in South Africa on 8 December 2015. The days of using a VPN to sign up for the service were over, and Google offered an introductory price of R49 per month for access to its premium music streaming service.
This was R10 per month cheaper than its competitors, and if you signed up during the launch window your cheap price was locked in for as long as you kept your subscription active.
Finally, in August 2020, after years of rumours and speculation, Google announced that Play Music was being shut down. In South Africa and New Zealand, the shutdown happened in September 2020, while elsewhere in the world it stopped working in October.
Here lies Google Music, May 2011 – February 2021. Ten years is an aeon in the world of high technology, but you were still shuffled off to the Big Data Centre in the Sky too soon.