Today at Google I/O (the big annual developers conference) the Internet giant confirmed one of the hottest rumors—that it would be offering its own subscription-based music streaming service to compete with music-streaming powerhouses like Rdio, Pandora and Spotify.
And Google’s biggest fans won’t have to wait to try out the new service: Google Play Music All Access is already live.
It launched today in the US for $9.99 a month, but it comes with a free trial month, and sign ups before June 30th get it for $7.99.
Rumors of new music streaming services persist
This move comes along with rumors that Apple is also seriously considering a personalized radio service along the same lines as the Pandora model. With the incredible growth and financial success of even smaller start-ups in the music-streaming field, it’s no wonder the media giants are looking to get into the game.
At launch, it looks like Google already has deals with Sony, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group record labels. It will take some doing, however, to get some of the exclusives currently offered for sale via Apple’s iTunes.
Google’s YouTube is also launching its own streaming music service to go along with their paid video content, but it seems to me that this is simply a move to corner the market with people who listen (and watch) primarily on their computers. Android mobile device owners and those who like a more familiar interface will probably head to Google Play.
Google not giving it away for free
The big difference with other music-streaming services is in the pricing model. Google won’t be offering an ad-based free service at all, but the $9.99 monthly fee is comparable to Spotify’s premium service.
I’m curious to see the features as they roll out and consumers start passing judgment, but I’m also eager to see how Google Play affects the rest of the market.
Will financial powerhouses like Google and Apple kill apps like Spotify? Will they outbid other services for exclusive rights to content and deter newer free offering like Songza? Will Google and Apple start building their services right into our browsers and mobile devices?
One thing is certain, record labels participating in streaming services are seeing revenue increases in the double digits and this sector is poised to grow, so expect even more entrants into the field, and the demise of some, in the near future.
Let us know what you think the entry of Google and likely Apple spells for the music-streaming industry in the comments below. If you use any streaming music service, please help us by leaving your own review.
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