At their developers conference last week, Google announced the launch of their new streaming music service, Google Play Music All Access. Google’s streaming service will allow you to make playlists, listen to custom Internet radio stations and easily share music with friends. Google’s music streaming service costs about $10 per month, although currently they are offering the first 30 days for free. This is a big move for Google, but will it pay off?
The service is similar to what Pandora and Spotify already offer to their over 200 million subscribers, however Google is by far the largest company to break into the streaming music market. Additionally, Google has their tech platform already in place to release this music service across Android phones and PCs, and to seamlessly integrate social media via Google+. All Access also provides you with recommendations based on what you already like, in addition to allowing unlimited plays and skips.
Although Google’s existing music store, Google Play, is dwarfed by music sellers like Apple and Amazon, Google will be the first of the three tech giants to release a streaming music service. Google reportedly also has high hopes to convert YouTube into a streaming video service, which would be an enormous gain for the company.
The big question Google faces now is whether they can woo enough users to beat out Pandora and Spotify. Although streaming services are gaining in popularity, Google may be making a huge mistake by not offering a free version of their service. All Access is only available if you pay. Even with the offer of a free month, having to eventually pay might deter many people who might otherwise be interested from giving Google’s new service a try. To give an idea of the percentage of users Google may be turning off, Spotify currently has 6 million paying subscribers compared to 24 million other users who listen for free with commercial interruptions. That is a difference of 400%!
Additionally, Apple is rumored to be in the process of releasing their own free streaming service. News came last week that Apple had made a deal with Universal Music. Apple already has a huge share of the digital music market thanks to iTunes’ popularity. Although Google beat Apple to the punch this time, it remains to be seen if they can provide a superior and more popular service.
Do you pay to stream music online? Let us know how you like to get your tunes in the comments!
–Megan L. TakeLessons Staff Member and Blogger
Photo by all that improbable blue