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Google dives headfirst into streaming music pool

Taking on upstarts like Pandora and Spotify, Google's All Access makes a splash with launch Wednesday in the U.S. (see video below)

May 16, 2013 06:00 AM ET

Computerworld - Look out, Pandora and Spotify. Google is coming for you.

At Google I/O on Wednesday, Google unveiled a streaming music service that will compete directly with the likes of Pandora and Spotify.

Chris Yerga, an engineering director at Google, told the audience of about 7,000 developers and journalists that Google is working on "next generation" music services. The service, dubbed All Access, is designed to guide users through the music world, he added.

All Access, which Google described as "radio without rules," is set up to be a monthly music subscription service that lets users set up "stations" geared around their favorite artists. Users can choose from millions of songs.

Once a user listens to a song from, say, Pink, the music service will offer up recommended songs from similar singers, helping the user find new bands or singers to follow.

The service also is set up to hold music the user has added, along with tracks they've played and stations All Access has created.

Google announced on Wednesday that the service is $9.99 a month with the first 30 days free. However, anyone who joins before the end of June will only be charged $7.99 a month, ongoing.

The service is now live in the U.S.

Google is jumping into what seems to be a growing market. This past February, eMarketer reported that the Internet radio and streaming music industry is on the rise thanks to its use on devices, ranging from PCs to smartphones, tablets and even in automobiles.

More than 96 million people are expected to stream music from devices every week in the United States this year, the report added.

Developers looking to hear the latest from Google at the start of I\/O had a lot of information to digest: More than 40 updates in Google+, alone. Yet the dev heavy keynote presented a change they seemed to approve of.

covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at Twitter @sgaudin, on or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed Gaudin RSS. Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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