According to Google insiders that spoke with CNET, the search giant’s music service is not doing as great as expected. Despite the success that Android has, and its seamless experience with Google Music, users are simply not adopting the new service. The situation has Google very disappointed, as they expected a good percentage of the Android population to prefer Google Music over alternatives.
The music industry has been experiencing issues since the internet became popular; it’s hard to sell music when users can easily download it (steal it) from popular sharing services. But what is even harder to do is change people’s media consumption habits. Music in the cloud is a fairly new idea, and people have not quite gotten used to it yet to gleefully adopt it. Not to mention that tiered data plans have made it less enticing to use such services, which tend to be data-heavy.
Many of those that do use streaming music services tend to lean towards services like Spotify, Rdio and Rhapsody (among others), which are subscription based, but it seems like the majority of the population is still playing music locally. And, sadly, a great percentage of these users probably still buys music via iTunes, especially if they’ve already made quite the investment with iTunes in the past.
Regardless, Google has a strong backbone in the mobile industry, which is why its expectations were not matched. At the time of Google Music’s launch, there were over 200 million activated Android phones and tablets. It wouldn’t take a big percentage of those users to make Google Music a success, right?
Google has already integrated music payments to the Android Market, and Google Music is very intuitive and simple to use with Android devices. There is also a great variety of music available on the market, so we do not know where Google is falling short. It seems to us like it is just a matter of breaking habits.
Google is not giving up on us, though. We already know that a home entertainment system is coming, and we can be pretty sure that Google Music will be deeply integrated. And we can be sure that more great things will continue to come.
Personally, after using most other music services out there, I have decided to stick with Google Music. Subscription services are great, but I found that I usually stick to the music I already like and own anyways. I was listening to the same playlists all the time and paying a monthly fee to do so. Instead, I just decided to keep everything in Google Music (or locally), and just purchase new albums as necessary.
We are interested to see where are readers stand in all of this, though. More specifically, how much Android enthusiasts use Google Music. What music service do you guys use, if any? Do you prefer uploading your music and listening to it in the cloud, or are subscription services better for your needs?
Let us know what you think, and let’s see what Google has for the future. Things are looking very promising with Google’s recent approach in hardware.