Apple Music is less than a week away at this point and is set to cause a stir in the music streaming business. In order to grab the largest audience, Apple is not limiting its service to iOS either, it is sending the streaming app out to Android as well, to compete directly with Google’s own Play Music service.
Obviously Google had to do something to make its own music streaming service look more attractive to consumers, so the company has followed in Spotify’s footsteps by adding on a free tier for users. Well, free as long as you listen to a couple of ads every so often.
One of Google’s Product Managers, Elias Roman, wrote a new blog post announcing the new tier for Play Music: “Google Play Music now has a free, ad-supported version in the US, giving you a new way to find just the right music and giving artists another way to earn revenue. We hope you’ll enjoy it so much that you’ll consider subscribing to Google Play Music to play without ads, take your music offline, create your own playlists, and listen to any of the 30 million songs in our library on any device and as much as you like”.
In Spotify’s case, most of its customers are on the free tier, with around 65 million free listeners and 15 million paying subscribers. We don’t yet know if Google will see similar numbers but its hard to imagine that the free tier wouldn’t be more popular than the subscription option.
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KitGuru Says: This seems like a smart move for Google in order to stay competitive with Apple on its home turf (Android). We don’t yet know how successful Apple Music will be or how well received Google’s new free tier for Play Music will be but one thing is for certain, Spotify and Google are going to be trying their hardest to hang on to their own shares of the market.