Last year, YouTube Music became Google’s primary streaming service with the company telegraphing that Play Music will eventually be replaced. Google this month will close the Google Play Artist Hubthat musicians use to directly interact with the Play Store.
Smaller, indie artists that were not signed by labels could use the Google Play Artist Hub to manage their presence on the Play Store and upload/sell songs. In an email today, Google told these musicians that the Artist Hub is shutting down on April 30th. YouTube Music is cited as the reason by Google:
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.
This portal allowed smaller artists to directly interact with Google to see statistics, and get paid for streams/purchases. Musicians can still sell their content in the Play Store and have content available for streaming in Play Music, but must now sign-up with a third-party distributor to handle that entire process.
At the end of this month, all existing songs and albums uploaded through the Google Play Artist Hub will “no longer appear in the Google Play Store or Google Play Music service (including the paid streaming and free radio service).”
Artists that would still like to “make [their] music available for purchase/download” have to republish, with Google providing a list of “YouTube partners,” including AWAL, Believe, CD Baby, DistroKid, Stem, and TuneCore.