Google has formally announced its new subscription music initiative, Google Play Music All Access. Rumors first broke that Google was working on the service earlier this year; The Verge reported just yesterday that Mountain View had in fact closed deals with all three of the major record labels, and that the service was ready to be revealed. It essentially works like Spotify and Rdio, letting users stream songs on-demand to their computer or Android device. The service is built atop Google's already-existing music store for Google Play, and features a recommendation engine that will guide users towards new music they may not have already discovered. As demoed on an Android smartphone, All Access incorporates both local tracks and those available for streaming into one master searchable library, a marked improvement over much of its streaming competition.
However, unlike a lot of Google services, All Access isn't free. It's priced at $9.99 a month, though there is a 30-day free trial. Google is looking to reward early adopters, however: if you start a trial by June 30th, your monthly fee will run just $7.99.
Apple has been trying to close deals for its own streaming music service, said to be more in the style of Pandora's internet-based radio. Google already appears to be taking shots at Cupertino, touting Google Play Music All Access as "radio without rules." Not only that, but All Access also allows users to create radio stations from particular artists — providing comparable functionality without any of the limitations. US users can sign up now for All Access at the Google Play Store, or with the updated Google Play Music app for Android.