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Google launches free music service

AAP logoAAP 23/06/2015

Google senior vice president of product Sundar Pichai delivers the keynote address during the 2015 Google I/O conference. © Getty Images Google senior vice president of product Sundar Pichai delivers the keynote address during the 2015 Google I/O conference. Google is launching its own free music service, a free version of Google Play Music, designed to attract more customers to its subscription service and provide artists with another income stream.

In its official blog, the firm explained that the service is advertisement-supported and available online starting Tuesday in the United States.

This week, Google Play will also become available via Android and iOS.

In this way, Google is placing itself in direct competition with services such as Pandora and Spotify, as well as other free tools such as Rdio and iTunes radio, offered by Apple.

The service, which operates as a pre-created radio station, uses Songza technology, a company that Google acquired last July and which provides musical selections based on the customers' location, the time of day, past preferences and songs that at any given time are determined to be to their tastes.

The announcement by Google came after two days ago singer Taylor Swift criticised Apple, which has now changed the criteria for its new musical platform, Apple Music, and agreed to pay singers royalties for the music it was offering free to customers.

Apple's vice president for internet and services, Eddy Cue, said on Monday that the firm will pay the artists for their music during the free introductory period it had promised its subscribers when launching the product.

The new system will begin operating on June 30 and Apple had made a commitment, during the three-month trial period, not to charge subscribers for songs they listened to and, consequently, it had said it would not be paying singers for their work.

It's not yet known how much Google plans to pay artists.

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