Apple Music is entering the streaming music game in exactly one week, but before then, Google’s making a big change to its own streaming offering.
Google Play Music now includes a free, ad-supported version to let you listen to music without having to pony up for a subscription. Unlike the paid tier, though, the free version of Google Play Music is all about playlists. Google says that it’s offering radio stations curated by music experts, including the creators of Songza, to offer radio stations based on genre, mood, decade, or activity. You can also create playlists based on a particular artist, album, or song.
If you decide to move up to the paid tier, you’ll get ad-free on-demand streaming, offline listening, the ability to create your own playlists, and an ad-free music videos on YouTube with support for offline and background listening. The paid tier costs $9.99 per month.
Streaming is becoming a popular way for people to listen to music, but not everyone wants to pay for a premium subscription, so it makes sense for Google to launch a free streaming offering. Not only does it get more people to check out Google Play Music, but it also brings Google’s service more in line with Spotify.