Google is entering the already-crowded market of online radio music services.
The company today announced a new free, ad-supported streaming service of Google Play Music, “giving you a new way to find just the right music — and giving artists another way to earn revenue,” it noted.
The curated music stations come from Songza, the startup Google acquired last year. The Verge noted that free users will only be able to skip six songs per hour and will not be able to fast-forward or rewind through a song.
Users will still have to pay for the $10 per month premium service if they want offline listening or the ability to create playlists and pick songs on-demand from Google’s library of music.
Google’s streaming service launch comes shortly after Apple’s own announcement of Apple Music, which costs $10 per month and debuts later this month. Along with Apple, Spotify, Pandora, and numerous others, Google faces tough competition in the music streaming arena.
However, Google Play Music is not without its advantages. The design and polish of Play Music has garnered some praise from reviewers, as does the ability to connect Play Music to unlimited ad-free streaming of music off YouTube.
Google’s new streaming service is limited to users in the United States and is only available on the web for now. It will roll out to Android and iOS platforms later this week in the form of an update to the Google Play music app.