Google's All Access music streaming service to take on Spotify, Pandora
On Wednesday, Google introduced its long-anticipated Spotify competitor: Google Play Music All Access, a "uniquely Google approach" to subscription music service.
Google engineering director Chris Yerga announced the new music service during the keynote for the search giant's annual Google I/O developer conference. As was previously rumored, the streaming service is similar to popular music service Spotify, but it also adds elements similar to Internet radio service Pandora.
"We set out to build a music service that didn't just give you access to the world of music," Yerga said, "but also helped guide you through it."
All Access has a focus on personalized recommendations, using a feature called Explore. Explore allows users to start a radio station from an individual track. Once the station is established, users can tailor the tracks that will play to their likes by stopping tracks that they don't want to hear.
The new streaming service will also suggest new releases and other tracks that Google thinks users will enjoy based on their listening habits. All Access will also allow users to blend their own Google Play-stored tracks in on playlists with All Access songs.
The move into streaming will bring Google into competition not only with Spotify and Pandora, but also potentially with Apple. The iPhone maker is said to be working on its own radio service to debut some time this summer. Much of the negotiations with the major record labels is said to already be done, but holdouts among some labels are thought to be holding up the rollout of Apple's streaming option.
All Access is available in the United States as of May 15 for $10 per month. Google is opening up the service to all users in the country, though, for a 30-day free trial. Users beginning their trial before June 30 will be able to take advantage of a special discount, getting access to the streaming service for $8 per month.