Google has launched its digital music store and subscription streaming service in South Africa, competing against Apple Music, Simfy, and Deezer.
While the services are similarly priced, the platforms are quite different from one another.
Simfy and Deezer don’t sell music, and have agreements in place with mobile operators to offer discounted subscriptions and carrier billing.
Apple’s platform includes features such as Match, which lets you access any song in your collection through iTunes – even if you didn’t buy it from Apple.
Google took a different approach, offering its users cloud storage for up to 50,000 songs for free. The trade-off is that you have manage the metadata of the song you upload yourself.
Google Play Music runs on any platform with access to a browser and Flash (or Chrome), and has apps for Android and iOS.
To use Apple Music you have to use iTunes, which is only available for Windows and Mac. Apple also has apps for iOS and Android.
A summary of the subscription fees and trial periods of the streaming services are detailed in the table below.
Google is running a launch promotion for early adopters, charging anyone who signs up for Play Music a monthly fee of R49.99. If you sign up after 26 January, the price will be R59.99 per month.
|Music streaming service||Monthly price||Free trial||Other offers|
|Google Play Music||R49.99||60 days||–|
|Apple Music||R59.99||90 days||R89.99/month for family of 6|
|Simfy Africa||R60.00||14 days||R25/month with no offline mode or smartphone apps|
|Deezer||R59.99||30 days (Premium+)||Free ad-supported service, with restrictions|