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.
As for the price of the Google Play Music All Access subscription, Google has unveiled an introductory offer. It will be available at Rs. 89 per month (after a 30-day free trial) if you sign-up in the next 45 days. 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.
That’s not the only way Google trumps Apple, though. Unlike the latter, Play Music also has an ad-supported free tier to it as well, which works differently from what Spotify offers. You can upload 50,000 of your own songs to Play Music (yep, you heard that right) without paying a single dime. All you need is a Google account.
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.
If you’re wondering why there hasn’t been any fanfare on Google’s end, that’s because an official announcement is still forthcoming. A Google India spokesperson confirmed to Gadgets 360 that the full Play Music suite is rolling out to users in India.
To try it out for yourself, you can head to the Play Music website, and get the app from App Store, or Play Store. Once you sign in with your Google account, you’ll be presented with a genre selection screen, that has you pick the kind of music you like, such as Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, and World. After you make your selections, Play Music presents you with famous artists in those genres, to further narrow down your preferences.
In our short time with the streaming service, Google doesn’t seem to be doing a great job with customisation. Despite picking a bunch of international artists, we were presented with heavily Bollywood-leaning and otherwise India-centric options. It’s something Apple Music tends to do as well, and only gets better as you use it over time. Hopefully, that’s the case with Play Music as well.