By Ryan Bradley, senior editor
FORTUNE -- After months of buildup, on Wednesday Google announced a new, subscription-based streaming music service called Google Play Music All Access. The name may be clunky, but the offerings appear bountiful.
Google (GOOG) secured deals with three of the four major record labels—Universal Music, Sony, and Warner Music Group. Fortune reported in March on the Warner deal, and the plans from YouTube to launch a similar streaming service. Google Play Music All Access is, as its name suggests, built atop Google Play for Android, which previously existed as a digital locker for music. All Access merges users' current Play collections with access to millions of additional songs, for $9.99 a month.
Google is offering a 30-day free trial and, in a bid to reward early adopters, if you sign up by June 30th, after the trial ends, All Access will cost $7.99 a month.
While Google's service seems a direct shot at other subscription-based streaming music providers, like Spotify and Rdio, it is also a direct shot at Apple (AAPL), which has long been rumored to be planning a streaming service on its iTunes store. That Google managed to ink deals with the major labels -- companies that Apple has had a long relationship with -- and launch before Apple was clearly a point of pride at the company's Mountain View headquarters, where the company announced the service at Google I/O, its developer's conference. Google called it "radio without rules" and "your personal library, blended with ours" and repeatedly touted the power of "Google powered recommendations" behind a music discovery engine.
Google Play Music All Access launches Wednesday. (You can sign up here.) What will be fascinating to watch, in the coming months, is not just how Google's competitors respond, but what YouTube offers in music. After all, YouTube is currently the biggest music site on the Internet, and it gives its content away for free. When so much music is so readily available for free, what is it that makes people willing to pay for a service such as All Access?
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FORTUNE -- It began with an argument. Tristan Jehan and Brian Whitman met as Ph.D. candidates at MIT's Media Lab. Both were amateur musicians passionate about the ways technology might recommend songs based on a listener's tastes. Both were convinced that "collaborative filtering," a trendy means of achieving MOREOct 18, 2012 5:00 AM ET
Pandora. Spotify. SoundCloud. A number of companies are challenging a space dominated by the likes of Clear Channel.
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To battle back against Facebook, MySpace tunes into more online music
MySpace, the once and would-be king of social media, is increasingly turning
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On Wednesday in San Francisco at the Web 2.0 Summit, MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta announced the launch of two new music products for the online site – one for the fans, the other for MOREMichael V. Copeland, Senior Writer - Oct 22, 2009 7:00 AM ET
By Scott Moritz
U.S. regulators on Monday charged Dallas Maverick owner and outspoken blogger Mark Cuban with using confidential information in 2004 to sell his stake in Mamma.com, a Montreal search engine now known as Copernic (CNIC). His sale of all 600,000 shares helped Cuban avoid a 10% dive in the stock, or about $750,000 in losses, the government contends.
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