You may have 99 problems, but streaming radio certainly shouldn’t be one of them. Last week Google announced that their Google Play Music app and service will now provide you free, ad-supported streaming music to your Android phone and tablet with a premium, ad-free service costing $9.99 per month. It falls in line with other services that are already available and the upcoming Apple Music service coming to iOS in July. The question for Google will be if anyone will be interested given there are so many options available today but the Google Play Music does have some nice features like being able to incorporate your own music you have uploaded into the service, something you aren’t able to do on some other services. To get this new streaming feature you will need to have the latest Google Play Music app which is now up to version 6.0.1945S for those keeping score at home.
The update to Google Play Music starts with a wizard that allows you to tell the app what you are doing, how you are feeling or what you want to hear then serves up a radio station to match the mood or activity. You can also browse stations based on your mood, activity, genre and decade if you really want to get your 80s music in (yes, I’m a child of the 80s). Once you have made your selection, music will start streaming with audio and pop-up ads as you listen. You can of course change your music selection criteria if your mood or activity changes easily within the app.
Other improvements in the Google Play Music app include the ability to see Top Charts of music as well as New Releases, all based on the genres you like.
Having used the new app while I was on holiday last week, I have to say I’m pretty impressed with it. Finding music and searching for it is very easy in the app and I like the ability to select music based on my mood or what I’m doing (working out in the gym, getting ready for work, etc.).
The question for Google is will anyone care? Spotify, Pandora and other services are well established while smaller services continually come and go, not to mention Xbox Music from Microsoft which has similar features and is available for Android. For hardcore Android and Google services users, this could well be an answer for them as they can keep everything within the Google ecosystem.