Those of us who sign up in the first month will be entitled to a discount price of £7.99, this will rise to £9.99 for everyone who joins up later. This is bang in line with the monthly fee charged by Spotify premium.
Google are also offering a 30 free day trial run.
Naturally I jumped straight into the 30 day trial and have been making good use of it over the last few days.
Spotify vs Google Music All Access
Spotify is the leading competitor right now, so let’s have a quick comparison:
Price: To get Spotify on your mobile you’ve gotta sign up to the £9.99 monthly deal. So the two services are equally priced. Note that the UK price seems expensive (as usual) as Access All costs $9.99 in the US and €9.99 across Europe. There is no ad supported version from Google, but then you can’t get the free Spotify version on mobile anyway.
Selection: Spotify has a lead here thanks to being established longer, but Google clearly has the power to negotiate deals with the record labels. Both companies will try to get exclusives which is going to be very annoying for consumers as no one will want to sign up for both and it might be that you can’t get access to all the music you want with just one subscription. This is a big turn off from the whole streaming model for me.
Social: Google music’s sharing and social options seem pretty disappointing so far. After signing up I was struck by how difficult it was to decide what to listen to. I’ve never had this problem when using Spotify thanks to the vast number of shared play lists out there. Spotify also makes it easy to share links to tracks through Facebook, embed into a blog, tweet out, etc. I am sure Google will improve on this over time.
I’m still a little undecided over whether I will continue with such a music service, whilst it is great to have access to so much music I do find it somewhat overwhelming. Traditionally I have bought an album or two each month, uploaded them to Google Music and will then rotate between a dozen or so favourites at any one time occasionally dipping into my back catalogue.
With access to millions of tracks I found myself not knowing what to listen to, you need to know what to search for and that doesn’t work for me as I never remember the names of albums / artists / tracks! Browsing a CD rack seems to work much better. I guess over time one can build up a library of playlists but that takes time and commitment. The radio functionality is great for picking out some background sounds but on the whole I like listening to music I know.
Had the entry price been nearer £5 I think I would have continued either way. As it stands I’m not convinced I will renew my subscription come September.
Have you given the trial a go? Will you become a long term user?