Google Play Music went live in India last year, offering customers the ability to buy and download millions of tracks starting at just ₹15 ($0.20). However, Google Play Music All Access — the company's subscription service that costs $9.99 in the U.S. — wasn't available at launch.
It took Google over six months, but All Access is now going live in the country. The best part about the service is that it costs just ₹89 per month ($1.4), an absolute steal when you consider the fact that you get unlimited access to Play Music's vast catalog. Google is offering a 30-day trial, and there is no reason whatsoever to not try out the service right now.
At a first glance, Google doesn't seem to be limiting its catalog in India. Music from the likes of Metallica to folk metal bands like Eluveitie and mainstream acts like Ed Sheeran is available for streaming, along with several Bollywood artists. The service has most music I listen to on Spotify, and costs a tenth of what I pay for a Spotify premium subscription.
With All Access now live in the country, Google is going after Apple and entrenched players like Saavn. Apple Music has been available in the country for well over a year now, and while it works fine on Android devices, it hasn't picked up a lot of momentum. But with Android boasting a dominant 97% market share in the country, it will be significantly easier for Google to market All Access. The service works both on Android as well as the web, and you have the ability to download tracks for offline listening, a key requirement in India.
By pricing All Access as low as ₹89, Google is basically undercutting everyone. Music piracy is systemic in the country, and Google finally has a chance to make a difference. The ubiquity of Android combined with Google's marketing muscle and All Access' low pricing puts the company in a great position to entice customers to pay up for the streaming service.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.