Google has quietly flicked on the switch to Play Music All Access – its subscription-based music streaming platform – in India. That means you get access to millions of songs, just like with Spotify and Apple Music. It’s available on Android, iOS, and the Web.
Google Play Music Subscription, with its library of over 40 million songs, is now available in India. Available across Android, iOS and the web, Google Play Music Subscription offers smarter, easier and low-data music streaming. In an introductory offer, Google is offering the service for Rs 89 per month if you sign up within the first 45 days. You also get a 30-day free trial on all the platforms. After this period, it will be Rs. 99 per month.
If you feel you’ve heard this before, that’s because Google Play Music – the equivalent of Apple’s iTunes Store – arrived in India last year. But that was limited to purchases only, which meant you had to spend Rs. 15 per song, or about Rs. 100 per album.
Now though, the entire music collection licensed by Google – about 35 million songs – is available for streaming or download for offline listening, at a fraction of that price. Google’s offering is also cheaper than its biggest rival by volume of music, Apple Music, which comes in at Rs. 120 per month in India.
At Rs 89 per month, Google’s offering is by far the cheapest among all the streaming services. Apple Music, its closest rival in terms of the catalogue offered comes for Rs 120 per month while subscription for home-grown Gaana+ comes for Rs 297 for 3 months and Silicon Valley-based Saavn’ s pro membership is offered at Rs 220 per month in India. In a market where music piracy reigns supreme, Google could give musicians a chance to fight back with such a low asking rate.
“With Google Play Music subscription, Indian subscribers can listen to their favourite music across a variety of languages, including Hindi, English, Tamil and more. This music can be accessed from any device with your Google Account. To make the experience deeply personalised, we’ve plugged into Google’s understanding of context and machine learning to recommend the right music at the right moment based on each listener’s preference, place and activity,” Elias Roman, Lead Product Manager, Google Play Music said in a statement.
Then there is machine learning induced caching which will be a big feature in India. You don’t need to manually download songs, the app will automatically learn what songs you listen to often and it will keep them cached so that they can be played offline.
Google is also offering radio to free users, which offers playlists depending on mood, activities, and situations. The last one works by accessing your location, and figuring out whether you’re at work, home, or travelling. If you’ve turned on Location History in your Google account, it’ll factor that in the moment you log in.
For what it’s worth, Apple Music has been available for a year now. Plus, it offers a 3-month trial period, and a family plan for Rs. 190 per month. There doesn’t seem to be a similar family plan offering with Play Music, currently.