Google Play Music runs $9.99 per month for an individual, so prior to offering the family plan, six accounts would be pushing $60 per month. Instead, the $14.99 fee equates to a buck per added person, assuming you fill all six slots. But even if just one other person hops on board -- significant other, for example -- it's a half-price up charge.
"You’ll unlock all of the same features you’d get from having individual subscriptions, including ad free, unlimited access to more than 35 million songs and the ability for each family member to stream simultaneously on any device, all for one low price," Google stated in a blog post. "Now, you can keep your listening experiences separate from your partner and get music recommendations tailored to the music you like."
The family plan also gives each member access to YouTube Red, Google's new ad-free subscription tier on YouTube. It's a perk that gives Google a leg up on the competition, such as Apple Music, which also offers a family plan for $14.99 per month.
Here's a look at pricing among the top music streaming services:
- Google Play Music: $9.99/month, $14.99/month for six people
- Apple Music: $9.99/month, $14.99/month for six people
- Spotify: $9.99/month, $4.99/month for students, $14.99 to $24.99 for families
Spotify is currently the most expensive of the bunch for families. It charges $14.99 per month for two users, $19.99 for three, $24.99 for four, and $29.99 for five. However, Spotify recently indicated it plans on offering more competitive pricing in response to Apple entering the scene.
I've been using Google Play Music since it was first introduced. As an early adopter, I qualified for the special $7.99 promotional price, and for others in the same boat, the family plan pricing isn't as tantalizing. It's not a bad value, but by not offering a price break for its early adopters, Google risks losing customers to the competition, namely Apple Music, which offers a three month free trial.