As the launch date of the Apple Music on June 30 is nearing, Google is also getting aggressive to sell to the users on the Google Play Music service. The firm has launched a free, ad-backed tier that provides curated playlists designed to accompany the moments of everyday life.
It is not new to see handpicked stations. Google brought them to the paying subscribers of its Play Music services in 2014 after acquirig Songza. Now, everyone in U.S. can listen to the curated playlists on both web and Android.
Google has also stuck with playlists as it is an easier approach for the firm to free music in comparison to Spotify. The free half of Spotify has received harsh criticism from the musicians who feel that the firm underpays the artists. This is where Google is confident as it can avoid this by taking the music radio route and the licensing agreements assure a big selection at the time of launch.
If you can stream a band’s music with Google’s subscription music service, these tracks will be a part of the radio that is now free.
Talking of the difference between Spotify and Google services, it is not possible to control the songs that will be played in the latter. A team of music experts at Google have assembled the curated playlists. The firm shares the “humans over algorithms” technique that Apple Music and Jimmy Iovine have been pushing. Whenever you choose a mood, decade, genre or activity based playlist, you can hear a track that was person programmed.
The free service loses out on many features that the premium subscribers get and it also handcuffs the users with restrictions. The free users can use only six skips per hour that has become standard in the industry lately. The users can pause tracks, but they cannot rewind or scrub through the songs even to know what the next track is. The premium users of Google Play Music are said to have complete control over playlists and that they can edit, manipulate, rename and save them for offline playback.
The free users of the service will get a playlist similar to the radio stations and it cannot be customized. An addition is that the free tier users can listen to the music streams at a speed of 320 kbps, if their data connection supports the same.
Google is not doing something that is as ambitious as Apple’s second attempt at music radio. There are no live 24×7 broadcasts or renowned DJs who introduce you to new artists. People still use Songza only for a single reason, and it is because the playlists are quite excellent.
The Google app is quite polished and better to use expect for the ads. It would be great as a soundtrack for gym or work commute. Google hopes that it will be sufficient to convince people to use the paid service. Subscribing will let users to listen without any interruptions, take the playlists offline and start streaming any song in the catalog of Google Play Music with 30 million tracks instantly, similar to Apple and Spotify.
As of now, Google has not revealed the number of subscribers it has as it is not close to that of Spotify. The Google music ecosystem has started looking more compelling similar to the Apple.