The music streaming landscape just got a little more crowded, as Google today launched the Google Play All Access music service at their annual developer conference. The new service will cost the same as Spotify Premium, $9.99/month, but you can use it for free for 30 day trial, and it’ll only be $7.99/month if you sign up before June 30. Is this a Spotify killer? Probably not. You can stream Spotify for free via its ad-supported model, and there’s no free option for Google after the 30 day trial. Both should be able to co-exist, but the fact that the new service launched before Apple’s, who are planning their own streaming service, is interesting. Apparently Apple is struggling to close down a deal with Sony. Google has deals with Sony, Universal and Warner Bros., the three major labels.
Google Play Music All Access (damn that’s a mouthful!) will be able to take advantage of Google’s search abilities. There will be 22 “top level” genres, apparently, with “more to dive into,” NBC News reports. Apparently it will be easy to explore genres and click to turn them into a radio features, and radio tracks listeners don’t like can be swiped away and off the playlist. And there will be playlists curated by Google Music editors. It definitely sounds like it’ll be fun to play around with, especially with a one-month trial.
It’s hard to imagine that concurrent streaming subscription services from Spotify, Apple and Google will work in the long run. The fact that Spotify has only 6 million paying subscribers out of its 24 million users worldwide shows that some people still are hesitant to pony up $10/month to listen to music. And those 6 million people probably won’t lay out another 10 spot per month for another service or two. And while having the three major labels on board gives Google a ton of music, there are still plenty of independent labels that will be holding out, much the same way there are still noticeable gaps on Spotify.