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On the sidelines of a fleet of announcements for Indian customers yesterday, it seems Google also flipped the switch for its music store in the country.
The Music store is now live for Indian customers on Google Play. It may have taken some time (Google Play has offered Music store for users in the U.S. since 2011), but Google is making it up with a diverse collection of songs.
The offering includes songs from upcoming Bollywood titles such as 'M.S. Dhoni,' as well as tracks from old Hindi movies. Google Play is also offering indie and regional albums including 'Indian Ocean', for instance. International albums and single tracks are also available.
As for the pricing, a single track goes for as cheap as Rs 15, whereas a music album can be bought for around Rs 90. This is on par with how much others like Apple Music charge.
However, you will have to purchase each song as Google hasn’t introduced its Play Music Access All service in India, yet. Through Access All, users get the ability to listen to as many songs as they would like, across devices, for a monthly subscription of $10.
Among other things that are missing, there is no radio, or the podcast section that Google added to Google Play Music in select regions earlier this year.
With addition of Music store in Google Play, the company is entering India's music market, which is already fairly crowded with the likes of Saavn, Gaana, Apple Music, Wynk Music and others. But reach won't be an issue for Google, whose smartphones dominate the smartphone market in the country. The company however may find it hard to convince people to purchase individual songs and not have an all-you-can-listen monthly subscription plans.
Another barrier could be the low penetration of debit and credit card users in India and even lower tendency of users comfortable with using plastic for online transactions. Others have tried to work around the limitation with carrier billing solutions where the subscription fee is charged in the monthly cellphone bill. Google does not seem to have that implemented at the moment.
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