Google announced yesterday (May 5) that Google Play Music has become available in Canada.
Google Play Music gives users streaming access to 25 million songs via desktop and mobile devices. Essentially, this is Google's answer to iTunes Radio (not yet available in Canada) or the myriad other streaming options unavailable to Canadians (Spotify, Pandora, Beats Music, etc.).
A few music streaming services (Rdio, Xbox Music, Songza and Slacker) are available in Canada, however. None are likely pleased that Google is joining the party.
Google Play Music is available for a launch price of $7.99 a month with the first 30 days free. Regular pricing for those who sign up after June 30 will be $9.99 a month with the first 30 days free.
The music streaming market is growing rapidly. Back in March, Time's Matt Peckham put together a nice comparison of all the streaming music services available in the U.S., pitting them against each other based on library size, bit rate, mobile platforms and price. It's worth consulting, particularly if more of these services come to Canada in the near future.
A major barrier for these services, according to Google, is licensing. "The licensing is not so straight forward in Canada," Zahavah Levine, Google Play's Head of Content Partnerships told the Globe and Mail yesterday. "Itís not just that it is complicated, itís that some of our features have never been licensed before for this territory.Ē
Perhaps now that Google Play has successfully navigated some of those licensing details, other services will come to Canada soon. Stay tuned (pun intended).