26 February, 2015 - Yahoo.com
Competing music streaming services are beginning to discover that the best way to get consumers to sign up and to start paying a monthly subscription is to offer a free tier, too. On Wednesday, Google announced that Google Play Music subscribers can now upload and store 50,000 tracks to the cloud free of charge that they can then stream via a smartphone, tablet or even desktop whenever they've got an internet connection. The offer's interesting partly because it recognizes that older consumers already have a record collection that they value and want to listen to -- therefore making its streaming and music downloading services more attractive propositions -- but also because over at Apple, customers are only currently able to upload 25,000 tracks to iCloud for streaming and they have to pay $24.99 a year for the privilege. A year ago, that number stood at 12 million and the huge jump, according to Spotify vice president of North American advertising Brian Benedik, is because the company now offers a free tier of its streaming service across mobile devices as well as on the desktop.