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BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT) – From classical to country, hard rock to pop, music is a part of our everyday lives. But, what is the best way to access our favorite tunes? Tech Tuesday explores the latest offering from Google.
The following is David Powell’s write-up on the topic of Google music all access:
We have covered the various music services here on Tech Tuesday—services from Amazon, Spotify and others. Last week, Google made an announcement that they are entering the market. Will they be able to differentiate themselves in an already crowded online music space? Let’s explore–
* First, who are the players in online music? One of the first was Pandora and many people still enjoy its free, but ad supported, service. The way that Pandora recommends other music you may like still boggles the mind. Their algorithms are the envy of the industry. But, Amazon has a cloud music player, Spotify is a player and then there is the ever-present iTunes. (Apple, it should be noted, does NOT have a streaming service though they are rumored to be working on one.)
* What did Google announce? Google announced a service called Google Music All Access that will allow users to play music on-demand as well as create playlists and radio stations. The service is $7.99 per month for early adopters and $9.99 for all others. This service will be attractive to people who are already heavily plugged in to the Google ecosystem- Gmail, Google Drive, Google Apps, Android phones, etc. By creating a fee based service, instead of purely ad supported, this is a way for Google to generate some subscription driven revenues, something it has been in pursuit of.
* How is it different from other online stores? Quite frankly, it isn’t. This is just another shot in the war amongst the “Big Four”–Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google. Amazon and Apple both have robust music offerings, so Google is just keeping pace more than they are innovating.
* So, our viewers want to know, what does Mr. Tech Tuesday use for online music? Mr. Tech Tuesday is a big fan of Spotify. The service isn’t that much different than any of the others except it has a robust social component. My friends, from Facebook and elsewhere, can subscribe to my Spotify playlists and I can subscribe to theirs. This is a great way to share good music and to get exposed to other music your friends are listening to. I typically do my listening and exploring on Spotify, then, once I like a song enough, I’ll buy it on iTunes. I’m a big fan of Spotify.
Can Google set themselves aside in a crowded market for online music? We’ll have to wait and see to see if their offer is compelling enough for users to switch.