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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This morning, the music streaming startup Rdio announced Vdio, a video companion service that will let Rdio Unlimited subscribers buy, rent, and share new and old movies and TV shows. [RDIO]
The first thing you'll notice about Vdio is that it's designed to solve the "what to watch" problem. It's not just that we've got amazing content, but that the experience is now MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Apr 3, 2013 12:53 PM ET
Exclusive: Google is planning to roll out a music streaming service to capitalize on the power of YouTube.
By Ryan Bradley and Jessi Hempel
FORTUNE -- YouTube, the world's largest digital repository of streaming media, will launch a subscription music service later this year. The service has its own negotiating team and operating unit but will likely have some overlap with new features also rumored to be coming to Google's Android MOREMar 5, 2013 10:35 AM ET
Its competitors say there's something to talk of how hard it may be for the company to turn a profit. They also say that won't always be the case.
FORTUNE -- Since Spotify's launch in Sweden three years ago, the music streaming service has become an industry darling by popularizing the "all-you-can-listen" business model. But it hasn't always been smooth sailing for the startup. Securing licensing deals with the big four MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Dec 14, 2011 1:54 PM ET
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* Late last night, Netflix (NFLX) announced via blog post that it is totally separating its DVD business from the streaming business and dubbing the former "Qwikster." Qwikster will be run by ex-Netflix exec Andy Rendich and will have separate user accounts, movie ratings and billing. Coming soon to the newly-christened service: Xbox 360, MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Sep 19, 2011 3:30 AM ET
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* Facebook unveiled the "Subscribe" button that will allow its 750 million-plus active monthly users to better control what their friends share with them, including updates, photos, videos, and links. It will also let users "subscribe" to public status updates from others much in the same way Twitter lets its users MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Sep 15, 2011 3:30 AM ET
Daniel Ek, the CEO of the online music service Spotify, has ambitious plans for penetrating the U.S. market. Profitability, for now, isn't a concern.
FORTUNE -- One week after Spotify launched in the U.S., CEO and co-founder Daniel Ek discussed his company's rapid growth at Brainstorm Tech in Aspen, Colo.
The simple, legal "all-you-can-eat" music service has made waves in parts of Europe with a freemium model that lets users listen to MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Jul 21, 2011 1:59 PM ET
One of the most innovative online music services to come along in years has finally hit the States. Here's why you should be excited. (Hint: no monthly listening cap for free U.S. users.)
FORTUNE -- Yes, America, Spotify is finally here.
After nearly two-and-a-half years of promises and speculation, the music streaming service opened up shop in the U.S earlier this morning and already promises to potentially transform the way U.S. listeners consume MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Jul 14, 2011 11:49 AM ET
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