May 15, 2013 at 12:57 PM ET
Google just became the 800-pound gorilla in the streaming music world, announcing its own streaming music service Tuesday.
It's "radio without rules," Chris Yerga, engineering director, Android told developers at Google's I/O conference in describing its new Music Play All Access service.
"It's as lean-back as you want to, or as interactive as you want."
The streaming service — available immediately — is priced at $9.99 a month in the U.S. Pricing is the same as competitor Spotify for its Premium monthly streaming (Spotify also has a $4.99-a-month plan for unlimited desktop/laptop streaming.)
To entice users, Google is offering a free, one-month trial, Yerga said. The service will roll out to other countries in the coming months.
Users who sign up by the end of June will be charged $7.99 a month, he said.
By launching its own streaming music service, Google, the world's No. 1 search engine, is beating Apple to the punch, and also threatening existing streaming music providers including Spotify and Rdio.
Yerga said simplicity is key with the new service. "When we were kids, figuring out what album to play was an event, so why is it that managing my queue feels like a chore?" he asked rhetorically.
All Access offers an "Explore" featured, a "guided way for you to browse milllion of tracks," he said. There will be 22 "top-level genres," with "more to dive into." Playlists will be curated by Google music editors. And perhaps most importantly, "Anything you see, you can immediately start playing."
Apple's iTunes Store, which recently had its 10th anniversary, has been the powerhouse in the digital music business for most of those 10 years. But it has yet to start a streaming service. It's possible a subscription media service, including music, will come next month, when Apple hosts its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).