Google Play Music’s SA launch is a welcome one: here’s why

Less than a month ago, I reluctantly had to close my Rdio account after the service was sold to Pandora. The new owners then promptly shut down my online musical gateway, forcing me to look elsewhere, however the search was grim and I knew there were no real alternatives. Until now. That’s because Google has now made its streaming music service Play Music available in South Africa.

I don’t need to make a case for online music streaming services, as I’m sure most of you are aware of how handy they are. There is something to be said for Google’s offering though, especially when you consider that it’s cheaper than the competition and you can also upload your own music to stream anywhere. Add the fact that you can Chromecast your synced music and you’d be a complete fool not to at least try Google Play Music. Did I mention that the first two months are free if you sign up now?

You can also create your own interactive ad-free radio stations, upload up to 50 000 songs, as well as pin playlists for offline playback to save your precious data while out on the move. Meaning unlike Rdio you can actually take your existing music and create a consolidated library, as opposed to two separate libraries, as I’ve been maintaining for the past few years. This is why I’m so stoked about Google Play Music, there is finally an all in one music solution that I want to use.

So why is Google Play Music coming to South Africa important? There are a number of reasons, but let’s start at the beginning. It’s vital because it means that Google is willing to expand its Play Store and associated services in South Africa. At the moment we can’t access Google Play Movies, or Newsstand subscriptions or buy devices from Google.

Yes, I am aware that there are ‘workarounds’ but I’m specifically referring to legit means, because the more of Google’s services become available, the more we can benefit from their ecosystem, like Apple.

That way your entertainment is in one place, and your subscriptions in a single account and you can manage everything from your browser, anywhere, any time. So as it stands we get Google’s Play Store, Apps and Games, Books, and now Music. Sound Search would be nice as well please Google, considering it uses Google Play Music’s database for identifying songs.

With Rdio closing down music fans are looking for alternatives to Deezer and Apple Music, neither of which suited my taste. I was left without an option, because we don’t have Spotify here either, but with Google Play Music arriving, that might change in the near future. More service providers need to be aware that South Africa might be a developing country, but our mobile-centric usage provides a unique space for them to operate in. And the more service providers we have in South Africa, the closer to a first-world experience we’ll be and I think I speak for all tech lovers when I say that it creates an extremely exciting prospect.

I would love to be able to buy Nexus devices in South Africa straight from Google, or even Android One handsets as I’m currently slightly obsessed with budget phones. Either way, I would relish logging into the Google Play Store to see all of the options available to me, but for now, just for the Music, I have to say thanks Google, you’ve really come to the party at exactly the right time.



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