With the launch of Apple Music looming, Google is calling attention to its own (excellent) streaming service. The search giant on Tuesday said it’s adding a free component to Google Play Music—something that’s very important when trying to improve adoption numbers. Giving potential subscribers a taste is a smart move on Google’s part, especially with Apple Music on the horizon.
Google’s ad-supported formula is a little different than something like, say, Spotify. Rather than giving users access to an ad-supported on-demand service, Google Play Music will offer curated playlists, a component Google introduced late last year. Not only will this option give music lovers a way to enjoy what Google Play Music has to offer, but it’ll showcase one of the best parts of the service.
The curated playlists aspect offers up selections based on a certain mood, time of day or genre. And it’s impressive how well Google’s curation works, though some might find it limiting; users don’t quite have full control when there’s no on-demand component. That’s why it wants people to subscribe. Google says these ad-supported playlists offer more of a “lean back” experience, which is apparently what most listeners are after.
In addition to being restricted to just playlists, the ad-supported side of Google Play Music only offers six skips per hour, and there’s no rewind or scrubbing through songs. You can’t even see what’s coming up next, which is a bit perplexing. If you’re a subscriber, you have full control over the experience, and can even edit, rename and save playlists for offline playback.
When Apple Music launches on June 30, the Cupertino company’s service will offer three free months, which will no doubt be huge in Apple’s pursuit to be the dominant streaming provider.