Google has today announced a new update for their Play Music service, announcing a new way to listen for free – at least for those living in the US.

If you’re not a Google Play Music All Access subscriber, Google Play Music now has a free, ad-supported version which will let you listen to a variety of tunes from a variety of genres. The playlists are curated, to give you the perfect mix whether you’re working, working out, or working it on the dance floor.

If you decide to use the ad-supported tier, the ads don’t appear to be terribly intrusive – although there is a subset of users who cannot stand any ads – with ads appearing as banners at the bottom of the screen or as pop-ups and there’s reports of users receiving video ads as well.

The playlists are amazingly well stocked, with Google announcing that their purchase of Songza last year is bearing fruit in this release, with the team there behind some of the playlists. If you do decide you don’t like a track, you can skip, though be careful as there’s only a limited amount of skips you can do before you are asked to pay for the full Google Play Music All Access tier.

There’s a large amount of playlists available to choose from – and there are a heap of playlists to listen to, with Google listing their top 10:

  1. Brand New Music
  2. Driving
  3. Working Out
  4. Boosting Your Energy
  5. Having Friends Over
  6. Having Fun at Work
  7. Entering Beast Mode
  8. Waking Up Happy
  9. Unwinding
  10. Bedtime

But of course, this is only available in the US – unless you have a VPN. If you grab the latest version of the Google Play Music app, connect your VPN, and then simply switch back and forth between accounts on your phone you’ll be able to access the new ad-supported version of Google Play Music with ease.

Once you’ve activated the ad-supported option, you no longer need your VPN, so you can turn that off.

Considering we’re still waiting for YouTube Music Key to roll out to Australia, we could be waiting a while to see this one arrive here. If you do have a VPN though, try it out and see what you think.

Source: Android Blog.
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Mine works on the web player but not on Android, it there meant to be an Android update first?


Why would anyone want to skip Bon Jovi? Hehe 🙂

I have All Access, wouldn’t mind some more playlists/”radio”.

Daniel Tyson

To be fair I skipped Michael Jackson, Soft Cell, Foreigner and some other classic rock as well to get to that point. Just wanted to see if there was a limit and as luck would have it, it was Bon Jovi that fate didn’t want me to skip.


So, hang on, the ads are on the screen?

So what if you are casting the music to a chromecast sitting on an amp? You wouldn’t be looking at the screen, so do they have a way to catch you and force you to pay attention?

All access is useful, but the price is too high for the limited amount of use I’d get out of it. They could do with a daily rate, only charging on the days you might use it out of general play credit. Say $1 a day.


Yes that seems weird. They’d be far better off (in terms of business) injecting audio ads into your stream.


Video ads on a streaming audio service….
Why does that feel so WRONG?

Daniel Tyson

Been listening all morning and no video ads so far.


Free VPN services like Tunnelbear are perfect for this. Costs nothing to activate and then you’ve got free streaming radio!


Just what I was thinking


Can you detail the steps in activating the curated playlists and radio options using a VPN? I connected to a VPN, cleared data on Google Play Music and signed in and the options aren’t enabling for me.

The same steps worked for Google Photos face recognition though.

Daniel Tyson

Adrian – you have to change to another account and back – it may also work if you clear your App Cache under settings if you don’t have multiple GMail Accounts.


Dang! It looks like since my primary account is an GPM All Access subscriber I can’t activate the radio or curated playlists. I did manage to activate them on my second non-subscriber account though.

Thanks anyway!