Digital Top Stories

Google launches streaming service

By | Published on Thursday 16 May 2013


So, as expected, Google launched a music streaming service yesterday. Of course, arguably Google already operates the biggest music streaming service on the web, YouTube. However, this one will compete more explicitly with the likes of Spotify.

So, what name has Google come up with? Well, it needs to be snappy, like YouTube or Spotify, something that rolls off the tongue and becomes shorthand for the type of service it is. A name that embodies everything it offers and almost becomes part of our language in itself. Or maybe Google Play Music All Access will be fine.

Let’s just look at that name again: Google Play Music All Access

Fucking hell. I’d say it was the worst name for a music service ever, but I just remembered Nokia ComesWithMusic. Lucky escape, Google.

Anyway, the service is now live in the US, with additional countries coming at some point in the near future. It’ll cost you American types $9.99 per month to use it, after a 30 day free trial, though if you sign up before 30 Jun it’ll be $7.99 for an undisclosed amount of time.

Google’s service doesn’t seem to offer much that others don’t already, the company seemingly banking on its brand recognition rather than making any attempt to innovate. This is essentially what BPI chief Geoff Taylor said about it too, telling CMU: “Streaming is the fastest growing part of the £330 million digital music sector in Britain, with over than a million paying subscribers already and millions more enjoying free and ad-supported music. The entry of a player with the reach of Google will persuade many more consumers to experience having millions of songs to play instantly on their phone, tablet or PC”.

Of course, that’s not how Google put it. Announcing the service yesterday, Android Engineering Director Chris Yerga said on stage: “We set out to build a music service that didn’t just give you access to a load of music, it also helped guide you through it”. It basically means it’ll have a curated page of recommendations on it. And what music service doesn’t have that? Though Yerga did add that GPAAM is “a music service that’s about music, and the technology fades to the background”.

Yeah, it’s totally about the music, man. Oh, this technology, just ignore it. It’s so uncool, I don’t really know why I keep it.

Still, the announcement of the new service means we’re now just waiting for Apple to arrive at the streaming party. Though arguably Apple is holding off because its download store is still so strong in the digital market, the company is known to be in talks to licence some sort of streaming operation (most likely personalised radio).

Google Play Music All Access. Fucking hell.