SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — Google Inc. unveiled a streaming music service called All Access that blends songs users have already uploaded to their online libraries with millions of other tracks. Google made it available in the U.S. on Wednesday for $8 a month to early birds who sign up for service before June 30.
In addition to a 30-day free trial, the offer shaves $2 off the price of popular paid subscription plans from Spotify and Rhapsody. The service is an attempt by the world’s dominant Internet company to carve itself a bigger piece of the digital music pie as more people listen to streaming music on mobile devices.
The announcement Wednesday at Google’s annual developers conference in San Francisco at the Moscone Center kicks off a wave of developments as technology giants go beyond core music fans and look to entice more casual listeners.
Rival Apple Inc. is expected to debut a digital radio service later this year that will drive more people to its iTunes music store; Google-owned YouTube is also working on a paid subscription music plan with a deeper catalog of songs than it has now; and Sweden’s Spotify is exploring a way to make a version of its paid streaming plan free with ads on mobile devices, according to a person in the music industry familiar with the matter.
Google is playing catch-up in the digital music space after launching its music store in November 2011. Apple’s iTunes Store, which launched in 2003, is the leader in song downloads and Spotify claims about 6 million paying subscribers worldwide.