Google has been working on a music service for years, but its complicated relationship with the labels hindered the process. Now they have deals with all the majors and a de-facto leg up on Apple. This is about the battle for the "living room'" and owning a piece of Home Entertainment. Google's global strategy is to serve its customers in an ecosystem they never leave. Extending the metaphor, Google Play Music All Access (who came up with that name?) is another suite in the Chrome mansion, next to YouTube and Google Play.
Digital music is a fast growing proposition but the jury is still out on subscription. Spotify has but 6 million paid subscribers out of 24 million and wouldn't have taken off without a free option. However, Google isn't exactly an obscure start up, and Google Play Music All Access does seem to offer a "smarter" listening experience. On the one hand, it feeds lazy listeners Pandora-style streams that are integrated with search and informed by users' own music libraries (letting users upload 20,000 of their own tracks for free) while also giving the true aficionados and taste makers free range to create their own playlists, as they do on Spotify and Rdio.
Industry insiders tell MGC that the next few months will see the continued consolidation of the music services (Beats bought Mog last year). It's not beyond reach to imagine Rdio merging with Spotify or being acquired by either Apple, Microsoft or Google.
Now the real question is, will the music lovers pay $10 a month subscription for all the music they can eat? Only time will tell.