Last week I posted that Google Play Music would be introducing the Family plan for subscribers “soon”. Soon appears to be today. In the latest update to the Android phone and tablet apps, you can now sign up for the family subscription. If you are a family with lots of music lovers, this will be a great plan at only $14.99 per month for unlimited streaming and downloading for up to 6 members of your household. Keep in mind that a single subscription is $9.99 per month so basically for $5 you getting 5 additional accounts. Plus, that subscription also gets each member access
to YouTube Red, the ad-free version of that service, which is valued at $9.99 per month. It is a very competitive offering in a landscape full of streaming music services. To sign up your family members, you will need to have their email addresses that are associated with their Google accounts. This is usually their Gmail account but it could be different. You can designate those who have account rights as well as those who are required to get permission for making purchases.
One thing to note, if you are currently trying out Google Play Music via a trial (if you took advantage of it after buying your Chromecast for example) and subscribe to the family plan, your trial plan ends immediately. That may not be that big of a deal for some but keep it in mind. The trial is for individual users only.
Also, if you want to sign up for the Family plan, currently you can only do it from your Android devices. The web-based Play Music site does not allow you to sign up.
The latest version of the app is 6.2.2221U for those keeping score at home and it is out in the Google Play Store now. If you have the app installed on your device(s) then you should see the OTA update for it at any point over the next couple of days. If you haven’t downloaded and tried it yet (you can try it free for 30 days) now is a good time to do so and see if it is right for your family.
Google Play Music Notification Now Supports Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down to Rate Songs
While the Family plans are the big news in this update, there is one other new feature in the update. Now if you have music playing in the background and swipe down to see your notifications, you will notice that the Google Play Music notification now supports a thumbs up and thumbs down for a song. This feature is really handy as you don’t necessarily have to unlock your phone to rate a song. Ratings are important if you are streaming music stations as the service will more accurately learn your likes and dislikes of a particular genre.
The rating system also is important for your library that you have uploaded to the service. My rating your songs, the service builds an auto playlist of those songs so you can simply tap on that playlist and play all your favorite songs across your entire library.
Will you be signing your family up with the new plan? Do you think it is a good value? Leave a comment here or on Google+ and let me know what you think.