Thursday, June 25, 2015

Google Introduces A Free Tier For Its Play Music Service

Google Play Music image
Google's Play Music streaming service is trying to take some of the thunder away from the Apple Music launch by announcing that it will offer a free, ad-supported tier to users who are adverse to paying $9.95 a month for the paid subscription.

Unlike the paid tier, users won't be able to choose their own songs to play on-demand, but will instead play songs from curated playlists in a radio-like fashion. This isn't new to users, as it's also the way that services like Pandora and iTunes Radio work.

What's a little different is how the playlists are categorized. Listeners can choose between lists such as Driving or Working Out, or even "What would Beyonce do?", so it will be interesting to see just how well the playlists fit into those activities.

The technology used in this tier basically comes from the now defunct Songza, which Google acquired last year.

The new free tier might not be enough to counter the boulder that is rolling downhill in Apple Music, but at least it made some news as well as made people aware of the Play Music service again.

That said, the real news will come later in the year when Google's YouTube Music Key is officially introduced, which is expected to have a much larger impact on music distribution.

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