Google's All Access music service is here. Should Spotify be nervous?

At the I/O developers conference this week, Google rolled out a Spotify-like music platform called All Access. 

  • close
    With All Access, Google jumps into the streaming music subscription game. Here, a scene from the Google offices in Paris.
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption

Google is rolling out a new music streaming service called All Access. 

The platform, which was introduced today at the I/O developers conference in San Francisco, will be packaged as part of the Google Music ecosystem, and will include "millions" of songs. The monthly charge will be $9.99 for unlimited access, but if you sign up by the end of June, that rate gets lowered (presumably temporarily, although Google hasn't gotten specific) to $7.99 a month. 

By comparison, a Spotify Unlimited subscription (which does not include an offline play mode or improved MP3 quality) costs $4.99 a month, while a Spotify Premium subscription (which does include an offline play mode and improved MP3 quality) costs $9.99 a month. 

Recommended: 40 iPhone tips and tricks everyone should know

Speaking at I/O, Google reps heavily hyped the recommendation engine and organizational tools in the All Access software. "Why is it that managing my queue feels like a chore?" Google’s Chris Yerga said, according to TechCrunch. "We set up to build a music services that doesn’t just give you access to great music but also guides you through it."

The big question, of course, is whether All Access has a chance of competing with a service such as Spotify, which has approximately 20 million users around the world (including a substantial 6 million paid users). Time's Matt Peckham argues that it can, providing Google does a few things right, including removing advertisements for subscribers, instituting fair compensation for artists, and making the software universal. 

"If the company launches a music service that only works natively on Android devices," Peckham writes. "it’d be a shame (and, arguably, a losing move). Spotify is available for Windows, Windows Phone, Linux, Blackberry OS, Android, iOS and OS X. A streaming Google Music service intended to rival something like Spotify needs to be at least that agnostic." 

At very least, Google has beaten Apple – the company largely responsible for popularizing the online music store – to the punch when it comes to a paid, streaming subscription option. CNET reported last week that Apple was "in deep negotiations with Warner Music Group" about the possibility of signing on for some sort of Apple-branded, Pandora-like Internet radio service, although that deal appears to be at least a few months off. 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.