When Apple launched iTunes Radio in 2013, it seemed ironic that Apple offered a free ad-supported service, while Google had a paid subscription service. Now that Apple Music is ready for launch, it's time for Google to offer the missing free radio feature.
"Google Play Music now has a free, ad-supported version in the U.S., giving you a new way to find just the right music and giving artists another way to earn revenue. Our team of music experts, including the folks who created Songza, crafts each station song by song so you don't have to. If you’re looking for something specific, you can browse our curated stations by genre, mood, decade or activity, or you can search for your favorite artist, album or song to instantly create a station of similar music."
The free radio feature is already available if you're using the Play Music website and it's rolling out this week to the mobile apps for Android and iOS. It's US-only, for now.
You can skip video ads, just like on YouTube:
Here's the message you see after 6 skips in an hour or less: "you're out of skips, get on-demand and offline access to millions of songs for $9.99 per month". You can always start a new radio and you'll get your 6 skips back.
The main limitation is that you can't play a certain song. If you click a song from the new "top charts" or "new releases" sections, Play Music will start a radio with similar songs.
Whether you're using the free Google Play Music in the US or you're an All Access subscriber, you get thousands of new radio stations grouped by genre, activity, mood, decade, and more. Music for sleeping, dark music, 1950s music, world music, car ride music for kids - these are only a few examples.