Google Rolls Out “Radio Without Rules”

As you have probably heard, Google has put their newest streaming music offering into play, calling it (awkwardly) Google Play All Access. Personalizability, interactivity, it’s all here. It’s called “Radio without rules”, according to Chris Yerga, Google Engineering Director, Android, who debuted the new platform at Google I/O, a conference for developers in San Francisco.

Indeed, the new Google Music service is all things – offering a deep catalog of songs available on-demand, as well as all the interactive bells and whistles like new music recommendations, playlist building and sharing, the ability to integrate your own music into the mix. In fact, listeners can add their own music and albums from the service into one library, in one nifty interface.

On the web browser, the offering is the same, and available across all your devices. For $9.99 a month.

So the race to capture subscribers who are willing to pay a monthly fee for unlimited access to all music is on. Spotify has been trying to get folks interested in that for a while by charging a fee for mobile access to their on-demand platform, along with other services like Rhapsody and Rdio.

Google’s ability to integrate its service is of course much deeper – they’re already doing business with just about everyone. The interface looks good, and studies have shown that music lovers are willing to pay a fee for access to music. And people love listening to music online. It’s consistently one of the favorite online activities. So this could be a hit for Google. Could be. But I’m wondering about a few things as well. First, Google is the company that gives content away to consumers and monetizes the traffic – youtube, Gmail, Google voice, consumers are not exactly trained to think about their credit cards when they see that Google logo. Second, Google has had a few stops and starts when it comes to announcing amazing new online music platforms. Like Google Music take one (Discovery), and take two (Music Beta).

One thing that is consistent is Google’s inability to come up with a spicy, enticing name. Google Play All Access? It’s a horrible name for a pretty nifty streaming music interface…

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