Google beats Apple to music-streaming service

Google has launched a music-streaming service, taking its first stab at the growing industry with a new service linked to Google Play for Android.

(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

The All Access service costs US$9.99 per month, and you get a 30-day free trial. And it’s launching on Wednesday in the US, with additional countries coming soon. If you sign up by 30 June, you get it for US$7.99 a month.

The move puts Google in direct competition with music-streaming companies like Pandora and Spotify, and also potentially with Apple, which has been inching in that direction. Just last week, for instance, word came that Apple had reached an iRadio deal with Universal Music, though it still needs deals with the other major labels.

If Google launches an additional YouTube streaming service, the company could take advantage of the video-sharing network’s position as a dominant, legal source of music, particularity for teens.

Rumours about Google’s new All Access subscription streaming service, unveiled at the Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco, have been swirling around for the last few months.

Previously, Google Play users could stream music they bought from the app, but the new service would let people stream songs they haven’t purchased as well. Users can now blend their songs with a catalogue with thousands of other tracks available in All Access.

The service provides a never-ending list of related tracks that are also linked to your Google+ account. You can look ahead to what is coming next, and if you don’t like it, you can swipe the song away.

“We set out to build a music service that didn’t just give us access to great music, but to help guide you to it,” Google engineering director Chris Yerga said.

Previous reports had Google signing deals with Warner Music and Sony Music for streaming services on both YouTube and Google Play, according to reports, but it was expected that Google would launch its Android platform first.


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