iTunes Radio free vs Google Music’s monthly fee

June 11, 2013
20

Yesterday, Apple put all the rumors to rest and officially announced their next entry into the music world with iTunes Radio. A music streaming service from Apple has been speculated about for years, and now that it's finally here we wanted to compare it with Google's offering. Apple is late to the subscription-based streaming party, but have a pretty good plan that has me questioning my Google Music All Access subscription already.

For those who've been waiting to see what Apple had in store, today would be a great day to start that free 1-month trial of Google Music, that's for sure. Last month Google announced their "All Access" streaming music option. A service that already delivered cloud storage of up to 20,000 songs then adds the best part of Spotify and Pandora Radio combined. You can stream your own music, find and listen to anything you'd like (similar to Spotify) then create and build your own radio stations just like Pandora. It is the best of all 3 worlds, but it'll cost you.

For those wondering what the difference between Google Music and iTunes Radio are, we'll explain. Google Music All Access is more like Spotify and Pandora combined, while iTunes Radio is simply more like a walled-garden Pandora streaming service. So essentially iTunes Radio isn't anything new, it's basically their version of Pandora. While Google's All Access is Google Music, Pandora, iTunes, and Spotify all blend into one awesome service. You can play millions and millions of tracks, not just create a station that will "learn" what you like eventually. All Access is the complete package!

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 9.31.24 AM

However, Google Music All Access will cost you. There's one benefit to iTunes Radio and that is the service will be completely free - with ads of course. Just like Pandora you can stream endless radio and get the occasional iAd, or iTunes Match subscribers ($24.99 per year) can get the service without ads. When you compare that price (free) or even the $24.99 a year to Google Music All Access which is $9.99 a month, the service doesn't sound quite as nice. Yes it offers way more, but it costs 5 times as much.

Does Google have a play here? Absolutely. They are delivering a much better service overall. One that has more to offer, less restrictions, and will let you enjoy millions of tracks with ease. All from your PC, laptop, smartphone, tablet, or Google TV. Or basically any Android device with Play Store access for that matter.

If you want a simple and free music service Apple's option might be decent. For those music aficionados wanting a feature-rich option Google's the clear choice. Oh and did we mention Google Music is coming soon to iOS. This means you can have the best on both platforms. In the end iTunes Radio will have millions of users because the current install base using iOS, and it will be free. As a result, hopefully Google restructures their pricing a bit and we possibly see a $4.99 All Access in the future.

Get started today with Google Music All Access and enjoy your first month absolutely free. For those that signed up last month after Google I/O, your free trial is about to end, so you better decide if you're coming or going. What will be your music service moving forward folks? Let us know below.


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  • Bruno

    “Google Music All Access which is $9.99 a year” more $9.99 a month :-) so 12X9.99= 119.88

    iTunes Match = $24.99/year
    Google Music All Access = $119.88

    • http://www.androidcommunity.com Cory Gunther

      Yes $9.99 a month!

      • Mich

        Isn’t it $7.99 for those of us who tried it free for 30 days? That’s what my billing cycle is.

      • http://www.androidcommunity.com Cory Gunther

        For early adopters like myself it is $7.99. Everyone else will pay $9.99 though

  • Mark Shryock

    Doesn’t matter if you can’t use it on anything but iOS or iTunes.

  • Brie

    “possibly see a $4.99 All Access in the future.”=YES!!!

  • Anthony

    I’ve switched to Rdio until I see if google’s iOS app will have scrobbling, which is unlikely. They’re not getting me unless they make that happen.

  • JPB

    My first rule in determining if I’ll use a Cloud-based service is: Does it run on all my platforms (Windows, Linux, Android). If the answer is no, I move on. iMusic fails the first test.

    • SANDBOXGENERAL

      Apple has the tightest and best ecosystems for devices out there. Obviously, only Apple devices.

  • http://jimeagle.com James Eagle

    Can’t pay for Google Music in the UK so I’ll stick to Spotify.

  • Andrey Kasyanov

    If you look at Apple and Google revenues growth – more and more of their money comes from international sales, not just USA and UK. In countries like China, India, Brazil, Russia and etc. no-one will subscribe to paid music radios, especially at those prices. Even in US it makes no sense to subscribe – there are so many free online radios and services like TuneIn, iHeartRadio and etc. Most of the international radios could be accessed for live streaming at their URLs along with downloadable content. In the Internet era – paid radios or video-content services like Netflix are dinosaurs surviving only in US and Western Europe, their business model of charging an arbitrary [at their discretion] fee is a good alternative to pay-per-song downloads, but let’s be honest – how many of you buy songs/videos at iTunes/Google Play?

    • hey

      Good point

  • Peter

    Spotify has radio stations too and apps

  • db12s4h8

    Google Music acts like I no longer have a subscription?
    https://productforums.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/apps/4oJrsSlUUnY
    Did anyone else’s Google Music All Access stop working?
    http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/15/4432716/did-anyone-elses-google-music-all-access-stop-working

  • Jadie

    Google Music does have a lot of music…except for the one album I was excited to listen to. Oh well, thought it was a good idea. And does anyone else have issues with the sound quality? Some songs are clear while others I can barely hear anything.

    • looey94

      Just buy that one album.

  • raptir

    The services aren’t really comparable except that they’re ways of listening to music. Comparing an on-demand subscription service to Pandora with a “Buy in iTunes” and then saying, “Well, iTunes Radio is cheaper” seems a little silly.

  • Spikeautomo

    Sometimes u shud be a lil unbiased nd open minded while writing a blog like this.. This author here is rediculous.. I know he is a google fan and all nd he will do anything to defend it..but dont u all think this has gone a bit too far??

    • Emerson

      At least I don’t have to translate what the author is saying. Your broken English is horrific and can’t allow me to give any credibility to your post.

  • JP Powell

    I really didn’t know how I would like subscription based music services, but I signed up for a free trial when Spotify first came to the US. I could never bring myself to cancel. The subscription model may sound odd, but the convenience of having almost everything available is really nice. I hopped over to Google play all access right after I/O and haven’t looked back.