Google has never been content to sit on its hands, and the latest I/O Conference demonstrated that the company is as energetic as ever. During this conference, Google unveiled some new developments, including the new Google Play Music All Access service.
This new streaming music service intends to compete with other online streaming music services like Spotify, Pandora, and Rdio, CNN reports. Google will likely infuse its music service with its analytical power to provide users with music that it believes individual listeners will like best. While other online radio services have attempted to do the same thing, Google is pining its hopes on its many years of experience at analyzing trends and individual preferences with its search engine success.
How Well Does Google Handle Entering a New Market?
Google’s results at entering new markets have been somewhat mixed. YouTube is an undisputed success, but Facebook seems to have nothing to fear from Google+. One thing is certain: When Google gets it right, it gets it really right.
For example, Google Fiber is the company’s new broadband service that competes with both satellite television providers and Internet service providers. A basic Internet package at a typical ISP costs about $35 a month, according to ClearTVBundle. Google’s service, on the other hand, offers a gigabit connection for not quite twice that amount. Google’s price is cheaper than similarly powerful offerings.
How Does Google Play Music All Access Stack Up?
Even though CNN’s quick look at Google’s offering makes it seem like a market killer, IT World is not very impressed. Its reviewer, Tom Spring, noted how Spotify’s Premium Service and Google’s All Access both cost about $10 a month (after Google’s June $8 early-adopter special runs out), so he compared these two tiers to see which one is better.
Spring found that Spotify makes it easy to download tracks to a desktop or laptop for offline enjoyment, but Google’s Play Music doesn’t let users to do this. With Google, downloading is limited to mobile devices. Even its mobile app seems to discourage downloading and syncing; the icon that allows it to happen is tiny.
When it comes to streaming radio, Google has the edge. Unlike most other Internet radio services, Google’s app gives you the ability to change the playlist on demand. You can see which songs are about to be played and delete the ones you don’t want to hear. This is an ability that radio listeners have wanted since the offline version was invented more than 100 years ago. It’s sure to be a huge hit.
Google Leaves Apple Lovers Out
Wired Magazine notes there is one thing that will prevent Google’s offering from getting full coverage on mobile devices: It only coded its mobile apps for Android machines.
Fortunately for users, this attempt to force people to get a device that uses Google’s OS didn’t go over well with developers. Soon, a third-party developer coded an app that allows Apple devices to access Google Play Music. Alas, this solution isn’t as elegant as Spotify’s offerings.
Google has the advantage when it comes to streaming music, but it lags behind on the downloading and synchronization front. To take down Spotify or Pandora, it will have to tweak its offering so that it appeals to everyone.
The Author: Sean Norris
A tweeting fiend and music lover, Sean goes to concerts and tweets up-to-date reports on the hour, every hour.