Google's finally rolling out the six-person, $14.99 family plan for Google Play Music that it first teased over two months ago. In a blog post, the company announced it'll start taking signups via Android "in the coming days." People in the United States, UK, Canada, Australia, France, and Germany will be able to sign up at launch, with more countries planned for later.
The family plan allows up to six people on an account to have individual Play Music profiles, maintaining their own libraries, recommendations, playlists, and listening history. It works across Android, iOS devices, and the web.
In terms of people and pricing, it's fundamentally the same thing you get with Apple Music's family plan — also priced at $14.99. But Google does have one bonus for subscribers: YouTube Red. Every person on a family plan gets ad-free YouTube, on top of the interruption-free listening experience that comes with Play Music. (Apple Music includes free access to music videos.) For songs not in Play Music's library, Google allows up to 50,000 songs to be uploaded to the cloud — a great feature that even free users can take advantage of.
Spotify, the leading streaming music service, charges more for its family plan, but has conceded that it will eventually match the price being offered by both Apple and Google. That's on top of rumors that Spotify will soon allow select artists to stream their music exclusively on its paid subscription tier, which could go a long way in solving the problem of major albums showing up on competing services first. Last week, Google announced that Songza, the playlist-based streaming service it acquired in 2013, will be shut down at the end of January since all of its functionality now lives inside Play Music.