Google Play Music gets free ad-supported radio stations and playlists curated by Songza



For a long time it wasn’t possible to use Google Play Music for free for anything other than uploading your own tracks, but that’s about to change. Google has announced a new ad-supported service that’ll allow you to get some tunes going without having to pay a dime.

First up are free playlists of songs curated by the music experts at Songza, which Google acquired last year. They have playlists for specific genres, decades and moods, so it shouldn’t be hard to find something you like. You can also create dynamic radio stations based on songs, artists and albums, sort of like Pandora.

Of course, you won’t be able to get full on-demand, ad-free access to whatever tracks you want whenever you want without having to pay, but this is a nice alternative if you can’t stand to spend $10 per month for all-you-can-eat music. The service is US only for now (Google’s working on spreading it to more regions over time), and you can check it out today by heading to Google Play Music on the web ahead of the app’s update later this week.

[via Google]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. If they had cut the paid version to $5.00, I would jump on that in a heartbeat. But, I’m happy either way. I did jump on the $3.00 promotion when they had it… Perhaps they might do that again in the future ?

    1. $8/mo. to listen to almost every album known to man, any time? Someone is complaining? I have over 400 albums in my queue right now. It would take me 30 years at $8/month to acquire that music. You probably listen to the same 20 albums, or you just like top 40. In that case, stick to soul crushing top 40 radio and save your money.

      1. I listen to smooth jazz and I don’t use Google Play Music. I use others that meet my needs. You can go back to listening to 400 albums that suck.

        1. ^I’m with aaron. They are missing a lot of content. And the fact that they limit the amount of devices you can add/deactivate per year killed it for me.

          1. And the price is still $9.99, NOT $8 or even the 3 month deal for $3. If they go to $5, I will drop what I use today and roll right over.

        2. Ha! Smooth jazz, ha!

          1. Why is that funny? Oh… you’re a k00l kid.

      2. It depends on what kind of music you like. It’s true that the have almost all the popular songs but the still miss a lot.

      3. It’s $10/mo, not $8. Compare that to Netflix at $8 or $9 per month…. it doesn’t make sense, movies and TV shows cost more than music.

        I tried All Access for awhile, it was good, but I just couldn’t justify $10/month for it and cancelled. If it were $5 as aaron suggested, I’d probably sign up again.

  2. Haven’t they had the Songza stations integrated for several months already?

    1. They’ve had the stations, just not for free.

  3. Google Play Music is my best friend at work… $8/mo. is perfect for all you want music…

  4. Only downside to this that I’m finding is that the mini player went back to requiring the Play Music tab to stay open to keep music playing

    1. I use the Prime Player extension instead, but it also requires the tab to be open AFAIK.

  5. Time to uninstall Pandora.

    1. I replaced Pandora with Slacker Radio years ago. Pandora just kept playing the same songs over and over for me no matter what songs/artists I added to the station. Slacker has worked much better abd giving me a much better selection of music. and more variety in my stations as well.

      1. I love metal, but not a slayer fan, I always thumbs down slayer and they show up again two songs later no matter what.

  6. Yay! Glad to know should I ever need to pinch pennies and ditch my subscription, I can still get tailored stations for free.

  7. What will this give me over Slacker Radio? I don’t pay slacker a dime but I do get ads so not a big deal. I will be sticking with Slacker Radio over this still. For me its Slacker Radio for radio stations and Spotify for on demand listening. With the free version of slacker I can make my own radio stations or listen to ones that have made. I can also tweak the basic ones that have as well over time. For me its the best of both worlds minus the high definition audio you would get from going with something like buying tracks/albums from hdtracks

  8. I tried it. Google started by asking me what type of music i wanted, then showed me a number of artists to select based on that. So far, so good (and very Pandora-like).

    Then it inexplicable kicked me over to a bunch of “stations” that had nothing to do with any of my choices. And like most things these days, each station was in a huge box so that I could only look at a few at once (on a 24″ monitor), and there was no logic to how they were organized — there were jazz and pop stations (I hadn’t chosen any jazz or pop artists) mixed in with rock and indy and R&B. Mixing and matching wasn’t an option. I picked one, and the music it gave me was barely related to what the station was titled.

    After 20 minutes, I went back to listening to my own uploaded music.

    Yet another usability disaster from Google.

    1. Give Slacker Radio a try then.

  9. Google and Ads – I wonder how they are related?

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