Google kicked off its annual developers conference Wednesday by launching news about All Access a subscription-based streaming music service to compete with the likes of Rhapsody, Pandora and Spotify. There will be no free version of the service, however Google will be giving a 30 day trial to all new users. The cost thereafter will be $9.99 per month or $7.99 per month for users who sign up before June 30.
Google has been working diligently at developing entertainment features for mobile devices running their Android platform, putting them in direct competition companies like Apple, whose iTunes store is the largest retailer of music in the US. While Android phones as well as tablet remain popular, Google has had limited success with its download store which is why Google is looking to expand into streaming music and tap into what has become the most rapid growth segment in the digital music market.
Aside from just streaming digital music, Google will be looking to guide you to music that you like through recommendations by Google's curators. You'll be able to choose from 1 of 22 music genres and will then be shown key albums that define the genre. While it appears that Google will be putting a new spin on features that are already seen elsewhere, analysts don't believe that these improvements will be revolutionary as compared to Spotify and other streaming services. However, Forrester analyst James McQuivey said it's important for Google to enter the market. "If Google failed to make a play for the music business," he said in an email, "it would later regret it because its customers would remain forever tied to another digital service."
At this state it would seem Google All Access has a chance of taking away a piece of the pie from Spotify and Pandora when it comes to premium/paying customers, however Google may want to consider releasing a free version to pick up steam for their app or look to add additional features that just can't be found on other steaming programs. The one advantage that they do have is that they can tie in their social network and other applications to try and give their All Access a leg up.
Would love to know your thoughts on All Access and whether you plan on purchasing a monthly plan by leaving a comment below.