Android users could see the money they’ve spent on Google cloud services at least double in value, thanks to a nifty new scheme. For those who don’t know, Google Play Store is the go-to marketplace for Android smartphone and tablet owners looking to download new apps, movies, boxsets, ebooks and magazines. However, there is one element of the Google Play Store which will shut its digital shelves to customers in the coming weeks.
Earlier this year, Google confirmed that Play Music would be shutdown, with the focus shifting entirely to its YouTube Music streaming service. Play Music was a hybrid service that let users play music purchased on a per track basis from the Play Store, or subscribe to stream from a library. Not only that, but users with free accounts could upload and listen to up to 50,000 songs from their personal libraries – burned from CDs, for example – at no cost.
But now Google is shifting focus entirely to its YouTube Music option, which is a true competitor to the likes of Spotify and Apple Music. Play Music’s shutdown will begin in September in New Zealand and South Africa, with the service closing its doors in October for users in the rest of the world.
Those who have invested heavily into Play Music will be able to transfer their library into YouTube Music, or download any music purchased via Google Takeout. But that’s not all. As revealed in a post on Reddit, Google has been offering another incentive that helps soften the blow of the Play Music shutdown for those who had invested while the service was on death row.
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One Redditor who had been gifted a Play Music subscription which runs past the shutdown date has been offered a tidy compensation for all the months they now won’t be able to use the service. The Redditor’s subscription for Play Music was meant to last between September 2020 till the end of February 2021.
But with the service shutting down worldwide in October, a Google customer service rep told the Reddit user they would compensated in a number of ways.
Firstly, the Redditor would be getting access to YouTube Music for the same period that their subscription to Play Music had already been paid for. Not only that, but the Reddit user saw the remaining value of their Play Music subscription converted into Play Store credit.
The e-mail from Google to the affected Play Store customer said: “We see that you were previously gifted access to a Google Play Music subscription. Given our recent announcement that Google Play Music is going away and being replaced by YouTube Music between September and the end of this year, access to Google Play Music will be removed permanently, and we’d like to convert the remaining value on your Google Play Music subscription to Google Play credit from September onward.”
However, it wasn’t a like-for-like transaction – with Google offering more than double what was paid for the Play Music subscription.
As explained in a post online, Reddit user sevs explained: “What’s interesting is customer service stating I’m still going to get the full length of gifted subscription within YTM. Which means Google gifted me Play Store credit for a subscription I’m still going to use and not have to pay for until March 2021.
“Grandfathered GPM pricing will carry over into YTM pricing. Also interesting is how Google determined value. I bought the subscription at a discounted holiday pricing of 5$/mo. September through February is 6 months. So 30$. At grandfathered pricing of 8$/mo, it’s 48$ total. At the regular pricing of 10$/mo, it’s 60$. Google gave me 150$ of Play Store credit.”
The way the compensation is being calculated is heavily in favour of the end user, and offers a nice tidy sum for Play Store purchases.
While we’ve previously heard about grandfathered Play Music subscription pricing carrying over to YouTube Music, this is the first we’ve heard about Play Store credit compensation. The screengrabs the Reddit user provided seem official enough, but we’ve contacted the Android makers for additional clarification.
Express.co.uk has asked what exactly they’re offering to Play Music customers and how widespread this scheme is.