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How to upgrade Google Play from individual plan to family plan

Everyone loves Spotify for its unlimited music. But imagine if you could have unlimited music and no ads on Youtube videos–for the same price as Spotify. That would be Google Play.

The Spotify individual plan is $9.99/month. You get music.
The Google Play individual plan is $9.99/month. You get music and no ads on Youtube.

A few months ago I dropped Spotify for Google Play, and I really love how I’m getting all my music, plus no ads on Youtube. In fact, I might just drop Netflix too, because now I watch all my video stuff solely on Youtube.

I love it so much that my wife wants to get in on my plan. Now you can get six people on a Google Play account for $14.99/month (the same price as Spotify’s family plan).

Upgrading your Google Play individual plan to a family plan is a bit tricky. 

Sounds like it would be a simple upgrade, right? Your individual plan is $9.99/month. The family plan for six users is $14.99/month. Google should love getting that extra five bucks a month; therefore, the upgrade process should be as simple as clicking a button to say, “upgrade my plan to family”. But it’s not that simple.

Thankfully, Google is offering a web sign-up for the family plan. Before June 2016, you had to sign up through the Google Play app, only on an Android device. Have an iPhone? Sorry, you couldn’t upgrade. But now, in theory, you can upgrade from any web browser.

Google’s instructions will tell you how to manage your family group. How to join an existing family. But what about creating a new Google Play family? Google has a page for Subscribe to the family plan with the following instructions:
Upgrade to Google Play family plan
When I go to settings in my Play Music, there is no text that says “Start a free trial, Upgrade to Family Plan, or Subscribe“. So I had a few questions for the Google Play customer rep, Ashley:

Question: I would like upgrade to Google Play Music family plan.
Ashley: I see that you are subscribed to Google Play Music individual subscription. You need to cancel the individual subscription so that you can upgrade to Google Play Music family plan.

Question: My individual plan includes both Google Music and Youtube Red. Does the family plan include both Google Music and Youtube Red?
Ashley: Yes, it includes Google Play Music and YouTube Red.

Question: If I remove my individual plan, will it delete all my playlists I have? I’m hoping that my playlists will still be there when I re-sign up for the family plan.
Ashley: The Playlist will remain intact. The information about your account will remain same.

Sweet, all my playlists remain in tact! And everyone in my family will get Youtube Read. I just have to first cancel my individual plan, and then I can subscribe to the family plan.

I cancelled my individual plan, but I still cannot subscribe to the family plan. The reason is that my individual plan is still running until August 14. So I have to wait until August 14th to subscribe to the family plan.

The specific steps to upgrade from the individual plan on Google Play to the family plan: 

1. Unsubscribe from your individual account.
If you subscribed through Youtube Red, you have to unsubscribe from your Google Wallet. Go to Google Wallet, and then “Bills and accounts”. Click on “Youtube Red”. Then click “Cancel subscription”.

2. Mark down the date when your individual subscription ends.
When you unsubscribe from the individual plan, write down the date when the plan ends out. You’ll still be able to access Google Play with your individual subscription until the date it ends. You will not be able to sign up for the Google family plan until your individual subscription ends.

3. Wait until your individual subscription runs out.
Yeah, this part stinks.

4. Sign up for Google family
When your individual subscription ends, go to Google Play and subscribe to the family plan at http://g.co/FamilyLibrary

I’m still waiting until August 14 when my individual plan ends. Hopefully this will work for me, as it will work for you too!

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6 Comments on "How to upgrade Google Play from individual plan to family plan"

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Daniel
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Thanks for the tip! Did it work? I’d like to know as I’m thinking about doing the same.

Eric
Guest

Matt! Please let us know whether it worked. You’re the only clear source of information out there on the subject! Please don’t leave us on a “hopefully it works”!

Mark
Guest

Yes, I know it’ll work for Google Play, but did it work for YouTube RED too?

Topher Gutbrod
Guest

You can have the support call you from the youtube help page and they will refund and cancel your current subscription and then they will transfer you to the google play music team to set you up with the right subscription. or at least they did that for me.

Drew Horine
Guest

UPDATE: There is now an Upgrade button in YouTube Red. Navigate to https://www.youtube.com/manage_red to manage your subscription.

You’ll be charged the family rate on the next billing cycle, but can begin adding members immediately.

Very glad to see this update. Thanks, Google!

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