Google play music service now in India

The surprise launch comes with some glaring shortcomings


September 30, 2016

/ By / New Delhi

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Google officially announced a bunch of services related to India but the Google Play Music service was not among them; the service was quietly launched on their website and confirmed of later. But, the good news comes with its set of drawbacks.

Internet giant Google recently announced the launch of its various services suited for the Indian market; Google music however was not a part of it and came as a surprise later. The launch of the music platform was confirmed by the company after the service went live on September 28.

The music store offers songs from latest Bollywood flicks to old Hindi tracks. A single track has been priced at INR 15 (Euro 0.20) while buying a music album will cost somewhere between INR 75 to 140 (Euro 1 to 1.8).

But the much sought after service has some loopholes. Google hasn’t launched its ‘All Access’ streaming service, thus thrusting customers to buy songs individually. The Play Music Access All service allows users to listen to as many songs as they like on YouTube Red and Google Play Music for a monthly subscription. There is no radio or podcast service either. Also, the available services can be accessed only with an international credit card.

“Now you can download your favourite local and global music on Google Play in India, plus get free storage for up to 50,000 songs from your music collection. Currently these services are only available to users with international credit cards, but we’ll be expanding to additional forms of payment soon,” a Google spokesperson told an Indian daily.

Surviving in a competitive market

Google Play Music store was first launched in the US in 2011 and has taken a long time to enter the Indian market. However, in order to completely break through, it would have to fill the gaps in the services being provided.

Indians have access to music streaming apps like Saavn, Hungama, Wynk, and Apple Music. Buying services from these apps is not constrained by the usage of a debit/credit card type and some of them allow the downloading of an entire music portfolio. Some apps also allow free downloads on the basis of their advertisement model. For instance, Airtel-owned Wynk lets its users stream up to 100 songs a month without advertisements, under their free subscription model. Saavn too has an ad-based streaming model.

So, the subscription model that Google Play Music is offering might pose some threats against the acceptance of this much-awaited app.

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