At yesterday’s “Google For India” conference, the Internet giant that just turned 18-years old announced a slew of initiatives for the Indian users. Interestingly, Google didn’t mention anything about the Play Music in India at the event yesterday, but has silently made the service live.
Play Music for India is little more than a cross-platform store at this point: There are charts listing the top songs and albums, as well as one for new releases.
The Play Music is currently offering single songs and albums with DRM rights, something that Wynk Music player has been doing from quite some time. The singles are priced at ₹15 (~$0.23) -which is costlier than what you’d find on Apple Music (₹9 per song) by the way- while the albums are priced anywhere between ₹50 (~$0.76) to ₹140 (~$2).
You’ll also find a few broad categories like ‘Best of Bollywood, Indian Pop Hits, For the Kids and International Music’, as well as sections for regional languages like Tamil and Telugu. As in other countries, you can preview tracks and pay for them using the details or fingerprint associated with your Google account and Android device.
It doesn’t look like you can subscribe to Play Music All Access for unlimited streaming, podcasts, a family plan or even genre-based charts. Hopefully those will roll out eventually. But you can upload up to 50,000 songs from your own music collection into the service which is what makes Google play music all the more alluring.
Google is certainly having a busy week in India. Just yesterday, the company rolled out a series of new features aimed at local customers, including a 2G-optimized Play Store with the ability to schedule app downloads, fast Wi-Fi at public places, a lean YouTube app called YouTube Go designed to work primarily offline, and more.
The streaming option is available in 63 countries across the world including Australia, Brazil, European countries, New Zealand, Russia, the US and the UK. The subscription at these places costs $9.99 which seems to be a bit steep considering the Indian context. However, other services like Wynk music are offering singles at ₹5 ($0.08), Gaana lets you download unlimited songs by paying up ₹100 (~$1.5) every month. So it will be interesting to see if Indians welcome Play music with open arms when streaming music isn’t that popular anyways.
It kind of makes sense to download the songs since in India most of us, are not connected always and the offline playlist is a boon when you are on that weekend road trip and want to jam along.
Fellow Indians, what are you liking the most about Google Play Music? Let us know in the comments.