Google Play Music was officially launched in India in September 2016, however with a catch. You could only download individual songs and albums, and not subscribe to unlimited music on a monthly basis.
Now, Google Play Music is finally offering monthly subscriptions on its app in India. As soon as you open the app, it will prompt you to try a 30-day trial of the unlimited service on the app, post which you can purchase a monthly subscription at Rs. 89.
The same service is priced at $9.99 in the US, the equivalent of Rs. 649. This means that Indians get it cheaper, which is consistent with the purchasing power parity. To compare this with other similar services, Google Play Music is actually very well priced for the Indian market.
Play Music offers unlimited downloads and streaming on your Android phone, with a huge library of Google Play Music. One can select different genres like Bengali, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati and Punjabi to start with.
“With a catalogue of over 40 million local and international hits, Google Play Music lets you find music by language or by your favourite Bollywood actresses and music directors, and even lets you watch their videos right in the same app,” says Google.
Google is also offering free cloud storage so that you can upload almost 50,000 songs from your smartphone and stream them on the app. This is a very helpful feature since Play Music does not have an exhaustive library of local songs.
Play Music will also have machine learning built-in, like every other app, to suggest you songs on the basis of your location, time of the day and your song preferences. So if you’re heading to the gym, Google will automatically suggest songs pump you up, or if you’re going to the office, Google will suggest songs that will lighten up your mood.
Big threat to Saavn, Gaana, Apple Music and other similar offerings
Apple Music was launched in late 2015, so Google is pretty late in launching an unlimited streaming service in India. Having said that, Google Play Music has been a favourite, other than Spotify, for a lot of users in the US.
Pricing wise, at a discounted Rs. 89/month, only if you sign-up within first 45 days, is not a hefty amount. Apple Music is available at Rs. 120 a month, which almost one and a half times that of Play Music. Gaana and Saavn both offer Rs. 99/month and Wynk Music is available to Airtel users at Rs. 99/month.
Where Google scores are the ability to stream your own songs from your phone on the same app. Also, it allows offline streaming, which is crucial to the Indian market considering slow and patchy network.
Even though Play Music is late, it can create ripples in the market because of the sheer volume of Android OS users in India. Google Play Music is pre-installed in every Android smartphone, and a lot of users take advantage of it as a standalone music app. With this, Google has bank upon such users and probably increase the monthly subscription to Rs. 99 a month as well.
Source: Google Blog"Google Play Music Unlimited Launched at Rs. 89/-; Saavn, Apple Music, Wynk and Gaana Under Threat?",