Today at WWDC in San Francisco, Apple announced its much anticipated streaming music service. Which is Apple Music. It’s built by the Beats team which they bought recently, along with their engineers. You might remember that Apple had launched iTunes Radio recently, well that seems to be gone now. Apple Music is part of iTunes now, and it seems to be really well thought out. With the ability for artists to connect with their fans easily, as well as getting great recommendations. But how does it compare with Google Play Music? That’s what we are here to find out.
Google Play Music Unlimited was announced back in the summer of 2013, at Google I/O, and many of us jumped on board. Google Play Music (All Access at the time), gave users access to over 25 million songs. In which they can add to playlists, their library and even download to listen to offline. Which is a pretty nice feature actually, and not one that most other services offer. Google Play Music All Access was renamed recently to Google Play Music Unlimited, and we got Songza integration, which provides amazing song discovery, as well as great playlists for the time of day and day of the year.
Apple Music has many of those features, but one of the features that stands out in my mind is the playlists. Yes they are recommendations, similar to Songza, but they are a bit more customized. For starters you choose a few genres, and then a few artists, and Apple Music will recommend you songs and playlists based on that, as well as what’s in your iTunes library. So you likely won’t ever hear a song you won’t like. Another feature that I think really stands out, is the connection between the artist and the fan. Now an artist can write lyrics and post them to Apple Music, as well as pictures and more. It’s like a social network inside your music app. It’s great for those artists that are up and coming and looking for their big break.
The pricing structure is basically the same. Unless you got Google Play Music All Access, err Google Play Music Unlimited, for the promotional $7.99. Apple Music and Google Play Music Unlimited are $9.99 per month. Although Apple Music is doing a family plan, so up to 6 members can use it for $14.99. But, wait there’s more. Apple is also giving everyone 3 months free of the service. And, this is a big one. It’s coming to Android. So you’ll be able to use it on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac OS X, Windows and Android. That’s pretty amazing. Especially for Apple. Google Play Music is available on all those platforms as well, including the iPhone and iPad.
So now we have a new competitor for streaming music. Apple actually put out – what seems to be – a pretty decent competitor. But will it compete with the likes of Google Play Music Unlimited, Spotify and others?