After a few months jealously waiting for Google to open up its awkwardly-named Play streaming service to Australia, we finally have access to it in Australia and New Zealand starting today! The best news is that you can get the special pricing offer we saw at I/O for yourself right now.
Take a breath, here's the full name: Google Play Music All Access. Catchy.
All Access is a service that takes the best parts of other music services and blends it together. You can upload 20,000 songs to a digital locker in the cloud to keep and have and hold forever like iTunes Match, you can stream songs from curated radio stations like on Pandora and you can buy stuff to keep forever just like Google Play, ironically.
Right now, everyone gets a 30-day free trial of Google Play Music All Access. Get in there and get your hands (ears?) dirty with some tracks. After that's expired, Google is offering the same introductory deal that it gave developers access to at this year's I/O conference: if you sign up to Google Play Music All Access within the next 45 days, you'll get it for $9.99, rather than the traditional $11.99 that it usually goes for.
Interestingly, despite the fact that the Australian dollar has dipped below parity with the US dollar, Australians still get Google Play Music All Access for the same price: no Australia Tax to speak of.
Google Play Music All Access' local head, Ruuben Van Den Heuvel, admitted to us yesterday that it's a little late in coming to Australia, but Google needed that time to curate great content for Australians to enjoy.
"We're all about local. The service itself is programmed and merchandised specifically for Australia. It's not a global service, it's a local service. We have people who are music experts and look at the music in any given week and program it out so that they get the things they hear on radio or find people who are touring to make music life interesting. We have an affinity for Australian artists and we've signed the locals to All Access too. Intertia, Liberation, Hilsong, Ministry of Sound, Matt Corby, Flume and Empire of the Sun are all there. We also have the stable of Australian music like Hunters and Collectors and Jimmy Barnes. We're all about creating a service tailored for Australian people," Ruuben told us.
Curiously, the programmers that handle the service live in London. Weird.
Google Play Music All Access goes live in Australia from today.