Tech titan, Google Inc., announced the start of its very own music service during the latest Google I/O. After maybe months of speculation, Google has finally admitted starting its own music service which will be incorporated among many of its already diverse online services. Both the supporters and detractors of Google have expressed concern over the issue mainly because there are already an abundance of music services around the web. These sites and services have already established themselves quite strongly in this particular niche and Google is basically sailing into unchartered waters with this endeavor.
Google Play Music All Access
The music service is called (rather unwieldy) the Google Play Music All Access. As the name would suggest, the service is incorporated into Google Play and is particularly adaptable for mobile devices. With a monthly fee, the service is basically similar to its iOS counterpart: Pandora. The music service had a $9.99 fee a month and laden with all streaming and access to just about every artist from all (major) labels. Google has offered a free 30 day trial and for users who have subscribed or signed up before the 30th of June, they are given a much cheaper introductory price of $7.99. The music service, however, does not have a free ad support tier. The overall look and feel of the service is similar to that of Pandora but with a few additional services.
Users have the capability of mixing up their own personalized stream by allowing them to upload their own music (with a catalog) into the database of over a million songs on the All Access. Another new feature is Music Discovery. True to the nature of Google, Music Discovery allows All Access to give suggestions to music the user might like based on his/her activity on the service. Whether or not it runs with the similar algorithm as Google Search is still up for speculation but what’s important is that it allows users to easily find songs and artists that fit their brand of music. As Google engineering director, Chris Yerga would put it, ‘the new service not only allows access to great music but also guides users to it’.
Google Inc. already owns the largest video streaming service, Youtube. The step into the music streaming area really comes as not that much of a surprise, and it is actually a rather logical one. Expansion is a good thing for a business this big and established, people are hoping that Google can keep up with the other music streaming services over the web. Detractors are seeing that the company may be biting more than they can chew.
Going Against Pandora
Many reviewers consider the All Access a clone of the iOS Pandora, also a music streaming service. Pandora also has a monthly subscription fee and a radio function which makes the All Access, at first glance, a splitting image of Pandora. This isn’t the first time Google has actually copied or based services on pre-existing ones. There was Google Plus which was basically a copy of Facebook as Google wanted to have its go in the social media scene. There’s also the Android OS which (at least most people say) is a blatant copy of the iOS. The Android OS powers over millions of smartphones all over the world. Once again Google has decided to combat Apple in its own game and is seemingly winning now.
Pandora is the leading music service in the world as it is afterall created by Apple. It also boasts as being the market share leader in the scene and the platform. It’s safe to say that they are so far ahead; it’s very difficult to disrupt let alone overtake them in the game. Google has managed to make smart steps in entering the game as they developed certain advancements as opposed to the already long-running Pandora. Just like the highly customizable Android OS, the All Access features the same amount of customizability with the radio-like stream. The service also provides mapping and location features and an excellent voice-activated search. Many videosreviews already feature the extremely good Voice-search and Voice-command functions of Google against the iOS Siri. Google is focusing on giving its users more options and conveniences when using the music service especially in an Android device (which powers just about 80% of all the smartphones sold in the world).
As of the moment, Google’s stock shares rose by as much as 3% while Pandora media shares experience losses of up to 1%. The multitude of enhanced features and the customizability of Google Music All Access have currently blown Pandora out of the water. Users have yet to see Pandora make a strong come-back; Google clearly wins this round.