Google 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 yesterday, 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; things are not sum zero.”
Page appeared calm and confident on stage and spent a half-hour fielding questions from some of the 6,000 developers registered for the annual event.
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 at the annual Google developers conference in San Francisco.
“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,” according to Yerga.