Google Assistant can now play personal YouTube music playlists when Google Play ends

Google Assistant will soon be able to play personal YouTube Music playlists as a replacement for Google Play Music, which the company is beginning to shut down. The idea is that YouTube Music’s streaming service can do everything Play Music does by the time the latter service ends, including all voice capabilities.

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Google announced plans to end Play Music and consolidate with YouTube Music last year, and has been steadily moving toward that goal ever since. In May, Google added a transfer feature allowing Play users to move their content to YouTube Music. The Google Assistant can currently access and play selected playlists on YouTube Music, but not personal playlists created by users. The new feature is still in limited testing, according to Google, but should be available to all users by the time Play shutters in earnest. Google said it plans to end Play Store purchases this month, followed by ending streaming from the app globally in October. Actual data will still be available through December to encourage any pending Play users to transfer their content before it disappears.

“You asked for YouTube Music to be better integrated with other third-party apps and services, and our teams are happy to accommodate those requests,” a YouTube staff member explained on a support page about the transition. . “[W]We’re also testing the ability for you to play personal playlists from YouTube Music via Google Assistant – a feature many of you have already requested. This is currently available to all YouTube Music listeners on Nest speakers and smart displays in the US, with plans to roll out to more countries and devices in the future!”


The new tests come after Google gave its voice assistant the ability to create a playlist. Listeners ask Google Assistant to play recommended music from YouTube Music, and the AI ​​pulls together a list based on songs and genres a user has previously indicated they like. As good as the recommendations are, it’s not the same as putting together a personally curated list of songs. Google has a history of moving content when it launches or consolidates services, especially in its repeated attempts to build a successful social networking service.

The Google Play to YouTube Music fits into this strategy, but the fact that it replaces MP3 ownership with a streaming service is indicative of how people consume audio content today and how Google thinks. that they will in the future. Advertising is one of the main reasons why streaming could be an attractive business model. Regular or interactive audio ads like the ones Pandora is testing all add to the revenue stream, just like on YouTube videos. There is evidence that backs Google on the popularity of streaming rather than playing music that someone owns. Sonos says streaming accounts for about half the time people spend on its app, though radio listening is also on the rise. That’s partly why it launched its own audio streaming service earlier this year.

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George L. Hernandez