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Google launches free and ad-supported version of Play Music

Google Play Music

Google has launched a free and ad-supported version of its Play Music service ahead of rival Apple launching its own music streaming application. The free version of Play Music is currently available in the United States with roll outs globally planned. The service is available on the net and will be on iOS and Android devices this week, Google said on the official Android blog.

The free version of Play Music does not allow users to choose music to play on demand but will have curated playlists according to genres and themes such as “Driving” or “Working Out”. The service also has playlists according to artists, or song to create a station of similar music. The playlists are curated by Songza, which it had acquired in October 2014.

The paid version, where users have to shell out $9.99 per month, allows users to listen to any of the 30 million songs in Google’s library on any device and also get ad-free, offline and background features for music videos on YouTube. Additionally, users on both the free and paid tiers will now have access to remotely store and play up to 50,000 songs in their own collection for free.

Competition in India

– Apart from Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora Google will have to contend with Times Internet’s music service Gaana in India. Gaan earlier this month tied up with The Orchard, an American music film and video distribution company to add 7 million more ‘indie’ songs to its library, taking its total number of songs to 10 million.

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– Music streaming service Rdio, which launched in India this January,introduced an on-demand subscription based option called Rdio Select for its users. Priced at Rs 60 per month for Indian subscribers, Rdio Select will cost its US counterparts $3.99 per month.

– Australian music streaming service Guvera, which had launched in India in November last year, claimed to have over three million users in India and a global user base of 10 million. Guvera is free and supported by advertisements, though users can also opt for the ad-free premium plan which cost Rs 199 per month.

– Saavn claims that it now has 13 million monthly active users and in January it claimed that  the service witnesses close to 200 million streams per month and that 90% of its users are on mobile. The service also has an updated catalog of 7 million tracks and had signed licensing agreements with music recording the publishing giants EMI and Warner Music. Saavn had also launched a Tweet-based radio station for its listeners.

*Update: Saavn contacted MediaNama and gave an updated number of its active users and song catalog and he current version reflects the same.

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