Earlier this week Google announced a streaming music service to rival similar services from likes of Spotify, Pandora and Rdio. But can Google's new music service compete?
Google notched a victory by beating Apple, but their new music service has some big challenges to face beyond their rival in Cupertino.
Currently for mobile, Google's Play All Access streaming music service is limited to Android devices. Pandora, Spotify and others offer service across several mobile operating systems. This is may be good for Android, but it narrows the market.
In addition to paid services, Pandora and Spotify have completely free options with tens of millions of users. Google's service has no free option. It costs $9.99 per month with a free 30-day trial. Those who sign up by June 30 can get a discounted subscription for $7.99 per month. Spotify costs $9.99 a month, and Pandora is just $3.99 a month.
I need more time before I can judge if Google's 18 million song library has the content that I am willing to pay for. I've been a streaming music subscriber for years. First with what was called Napster which was absorbed by Rhapsody. I gave Spotify's paid service a whirl, but it's music discovery fell well short of Rhapsody - which I find lacking at times.
Google has some work to do. Google didn't invent online maps, but it did make them better. Google will need to push and innovate unless it is content with All Access becoming another Google Plus. With costly music licensing fees, it would be hard to afford that.