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Google Inc recently announced that Google Play Music, the industry-leading music-streaming app for Android is now available on Apple’s (AAPL - Analyst Report) iOS platform. It is available in two versions namely “Standard”, which enables free access and “Unlimited”, which is priced at $9.99 per month.

Google Play Music on iOS is available for immediate download. It offers a standard service and All Access options, which allows users to save music to the cloud and stream songs on any device. The All Access service enables users to enjoy a huge library of songs. They can also skip songs, get recommendations and personalize playlists.

The app for iOS even allows users to stream music via Bluetooth and AirPlay. However, it has some limitations too. The user cannot buy songs from within the app. The reason for the aforesaid shortcoming being the fact that Google does not want to give 30 percent commission to Apple on in-app sales.

The move could be Google’s befitting reply to Pandora (P - Snapshot Report) and Apple’s iTunes Radio. Some of its features like listening to unlimited songs and enabling users to have their own customized radio stations are similar to Apple and Pandora services. However, unlike Pandora or iTunes radio, no free, ad-supported version is available in Google Play Music.

Google is a market leader in online advertising and it has been trying to explore various ways to diversify its revenues and fight competition. Google continues to acquire smaller companies with specialized technology to boost its different offerings. In Feb 2013, it acquired Channel Intelligence for $125 million to boost its e-commerce business. Earlier this year, it acquired an infrastructure startup company, Talaria Technologies, to boost its cloud offerings. Google also acquired a mobile mapping and navigation company – Waze Inc. – for about $1.1 billion.

Google reported gross revenue of $14.89 billion in the third quarter of 2013, up 5.6% on a year-over-year basis. The company has expressed its intention to increase investment in its core products in the future.

Currently, Google has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Facebook Inc (FB - Analyst Report) with a Zacks Rank # 2 (Buy) also offers an attractive investment option.
 

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