updated 05:09 am EDT, Thu August 8, 2013
Google Play music service now rolling out across Europe
The Google Play Music service has reached Europe after first debuting in the US three months ago. The service is also already live in Australia, where it has been live for a month. The Play Music is now also live in Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and the UK, giving those users the opportunity to enjoy unlimited, ad-free music. For early adopters the price is €7.99 if they sign up before September 15 after which it will revert to €9.99.
The service is competing with established online streaming music providers including Spotify and Pandora, although offers a slightly different model. Instead of providing an ad-supported service as well as subscription model like Spotify, users only have the choice to subscribe, but in return can both stream music through their browser or Android app, as well as download songs and full albums for offline listening anytime as long as their subscription is active.
Apple is set to join the streaming music service market when iOS 7 debuts on the iPhone 5S in the form of iTunes Radio, which is currently in beta testing. As with Pandora, iTunes Radio is a music discovery service that is free to listen to with ads. However, users who already pay $25 annually for iTunes Match can stream as much music as they like without ads. Unlike Google Play Music and Spotify, users cannot currently download music to their devices in either album or song formats.