Google today announced that it’s adding a free tier to its Google Music subscription service, just a week ahead of the launch of Apple Music. Apple Music doesn’t include a free listening tier, but it is accompanied by a free ad-supported radio service that provides users with a way to access music without shelling out cash.
Google’s free listening tier is built around Songza, the radio-based streaming service that Google purchased last July. It includes curated radio stations and playlists, which Google describes as human-curated and crafted “song by song” for moods and activities like working out or driving. It’s currently available in the United States and rolling out to Android and iOS devices this week.
At any moment in your day, Google Play Music has whatever you need music for–from working, to working out, to working it on the dance floor–and gives you curated radio stations to make whatever you’re doing better. Our team of music experts, including the folks who created Songza, crafts each station song by song so you don’t have to. If you’re looking for something specific, you can browse our curated stations by genre, mood, decade or activity, or you can search for your favorite artist, album or song to instantly create a station of similar music.
Apple’s own upcoming revamped radio service also has a heavy focus on human curation, headlined by the live Beats 1 radio station that will play music chosen by human DJs 24/7. It will be broadcast in more than 100 countries and led by former BBC DJ Zane Lowe and other famous DJs from Los Angeles, New York, and London, airing not only music but also exclusive interviews and music news.
Google, like Apple, is hoping that its free radio service will entice customers to subscribe to the company’s paid music service. Google Play Music is priced at $9.99 per month and it offers a free 30-day listening trial.