Earlier this month, Apple announced Apple Music. And also announced that it was coming to Android later this year. Google has decided to combat Apple with launching a free option of their service. Today, the company announced free streaming for Google Play Music, however, it’s only their curated playlists and they include ads. So it’s not like having Google Play Music Unlimited for free, which still will cost $9.99. But this serves two purposes for Google, one more users will be interested as it’s free now. And two, ads. Google is an ads company, remember around 90-95% of their revenue comes from ads, so they were bound to show up in Google Play Music.
“We hope you’ll enjoy it so much that you’ll consider subscribing to Google Play Music to play without ads, take your music offline, create your own playlists, and listen to any of the 30 million songs in our library on any device and as much as you’d like. You’ll also get ad-free, offline and background features for music videos on YouTube. And with or without a subscription, you can store and play up to 50,000 songs from your own collection for free.”
Back in October, Google Play Music integrated Songza’s playlists support into Google Play Music, and it’s been a very welcome addition. These playlists are curated by actual humans and not curated by an algorithm. They also appear in Google Play Music based on the day and the time of day. So between 8-5 you’ll see some playlists to get you through the work day, with the evening seeing some more club-based playlists. And the service uses your local time, instead of the time in Mountain View, which is a nice touch.
What’s better than seeing another streaming music service coming to town? How about seeing competition between them all. Consumers always benefit from competition, even when streaming music companies are competing. It’ll be interesting to see what Spotify does to answer Google Play Music and Apple Music. Although they did have that big announcement before WWDC, where we are getting podcasts into Spotify.