Recently three streaming services have dominated the headlines: Spotify, Tidal, and Apple. But don’t forget Google Play—the platform launched a free tier today. Free users of Google Play Music can only listen through Google's curation processes (like Pandora), and you can't use the service when you're offline. If you switch over to become a paying user ($9.99/month), you then gain unlimited, ad-free access to 30 million songs, and the power to make your own playlists.
There are similarities between Google Play’s free options and Apple's Beats 1 Radio: “curated radio stations to make whatever you’re doing better.” While Google didn’t show off big name taste-makers like Zane Lowe and Drake, the company noted that it has its own “team of music experts, including the folks who created Songza.”
Like Spotify’s free tier, which may be in jeopardy, Google Play Music will make money through advertisements. In the aftermath of Taylor Swift’s now-legendary letter to Apple, the company’s announcement stressed that its service will provide “artists another way to earn revenue.”
Watch a short promotional video for the new service below.