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Google Play Music for family announced at $15 per month

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After Apple Music reportedly claimed to have 11 million trial members since its launch in June, Google has announced its Google Play Music (GPM) service at $15 per month for up to 6 users at its Nexus 5X/6P event day before yesterday, reports Ars Technica. There’s no word on whether the service will launch in India and when.

This family plan will reportedly allow each user to receive their own recommendations based on music playback, while the service will be starting “later this year”. Note that last month, Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of Internet software & services, said that out of its 11 million members, 2 million had opted for the $15 family plan, which allowed access for up to 6 people. As of today, those who signed up for the free trial when the service launched, will need to pay to extend the service.

In June, Google had added a free ad-supported radio element to its Music service in the US, to support its $10 monthly subscription plans, through which users could access songs and a storage locker for the music they owned previously. In the US, this service was available on the web, and had plans to be executed on Android and iOS at the same time.

At the time of launch, CNET reports that the load of ads wouldn’t be very much, and that Google would also experiment with pre-roll ad spots before the song plays. It would integrate the TrueView ads (also on YouTube), which would allow users to skip the ad in a few seconds, for which advertisers needn’t pay. Google had acquired Songza, a web radio company in July last year.

Through Google Play Music, each user can store 50,000 songs in the cloud, and currently costs $10 for a single subscription. The company also announced that users buying new Nexus phones will get 90 free days of the music service. Similar to Apple Music, GPM offers activity based playlists for driving, working out, partying etc. Users can also browse stations by mood, genre, decade, artist, album or song.

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As of now, the service is available across 58 countries including Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Greece, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, the UK and the US, while its music subscription is available for 60 countries. Its supported file types are mp3, m4a, wma, FLAC, ogg, m4p and m4a; while some file types it does not support include: wav, aiff and ra.

A CNET report stated that music streaming service Spotify, which competes with Apple Music internationally, had 75 million active users as of this year, up from 60 million active users and 15 million paid users from the end of 2014, while Pandora claimed around 80 million users.

Multiple international players have been opening shop in India with their music services, among Indian options like Saavn, Gaana and Wynk:

– In early July, Apple Music launched in India and other countries, to be be available on iOS devices, Macs and Windows PCs at Rs 120 per month for individuals and Rs 190 per month for families, after a 3 month free trial.

– Times Internet owned Gaana claims to have a library of 10 million songs and over 12 million registered users as of June.

– Rdio launched in India this January. Rdio had earlier acquired Dhingana to enter the Indian market in March last year, Dhingana had shut down in February last year. In May, it introduced an on-demand subscription based option called Rdio Select for its users. Priced at Rs 60 per month for Indian subscribers, Rdio Select would cost its US counterparts $3.99 per month.

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– Australian music service Guvera claimed to have over three million users in India and a global user base of 10 million.

– In February, Bharti Airtel’s music streaming application Wynk said that it had crossed five million downloads since its launch in September.

– In May, digital entertainment company Hungama claimed to have crossed 50 million monthly active users (MAUs) worldwide across its service.


Check out our music and music streaming coverage here and here.

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Written By

I'm a MediaNama alumna from 2015-16 (remember TinyOwl?) now back to cover e-services like food and grocery delivery, app based transport and policies, platforms and media in India.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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