Google on Wednesday rolled out a music service for smartphones and tablets powered by its free Android software, in a challenge to streaming radio firms such as Pandora and Spotify.
The launch of Google Play All Access came at the kickoff of a packed developers conference, which features a range of improvements to the Internet giant’s products, and saw a surprise appearance by chief executive Larry Page.
“We are here because we share a deep sense of optimism about the potential for technology to improve people lives,” said Page, taking the stage to applause a day after disclosing he had been diagnosed with partially paralysed vocal cords.
“Everything I read about Google is us versus some other company or some stupid thing,” he continued. “I don’t find that stuff interesting. Being negative is not how we make progress.”
Page capped an hours-long keynote presentation that updated ranks of software developers, along with more than a million people watching on YouTube and at viewing parties, about improvements to maps, Android, Chrome and more.
Google Play All Access combines the Internet giant’s music catalog with users’ personal collections in a radio station-style subscription service, according to Android engineering director Chris Yerga.
“Anything I am listening to in All Access I can easily turn into a radio station,” Yerga said while unveiling the service. “It allows you to explore radio without rules.”
All Access launched in the United States with a monthly subscription fee of $10 and will roll out to additional countries “soon,” Yerga said.
The California-based firm was offering discounts to those who sign up quickly for the service.
Google shares leapt to a new all-time high Wednesday, topping $900 for the first time, closing up 3.25% at $915.89.