Nearly two years ago to the day, Google introduced Music Beta at I/O 2011. But in reality, it was little more than a gigantic cloud to store 20,000 of your favorite tracks. Despite a plethora of rumors that the search giant would beat Spotify to the punch by launching a subscription-based music service in the United States, we got a digital locker that has done little to distract most listeners from giving Rdio, Pandora, iTunes and other like services at least a piece of their heart. Fast forward to today, and Google's finally joining the bandwagon... in majorly limited fashion.
Google Music All Access is presently only available for mobile as an Android app, and only to users in the US. Moreover, it costs $9.99 -- the exact same sum as practically every one of its rivals. Rivals that have multi-year headstarts in terms of mind and market share. (Yes, it's $7.99 per month if you sign up prior to June 30th.) Google has landed deals with the same "major labels" as everyone else, but even product manager Paul Joyce affirmed to us here at I/O that All Access doesn't have access to any exclusives. In a post-keynote meeting with Joyce, he noted that this is only the start for the product. Naturally, Google's going to do its finest work on its own platform, but it's certainly odd to see iOS users left out in the cold given Google's acknowledgement of its importance just minutes earlier.