In the battle to win music streaming subscribers, Apple and Google are both placing big bets on long free trials. Apple Music launched this month, with three months free streaming before dropping a penny.
Google and Samsung have upped the ante, with six months free trial on Google Play Music. The streaming service normally costs £9.99 per month, but Samsung Galaxy customers will receive a free six months with no contract.
It is not the first time Samsung has partnered with software makers to sell a subscription service. Samsung had a long contract with Dropbox, offering additional storage to Galaxy owners for free.
Samsung will extend the offer to older smartphones like the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4. The offer will last until September 30, and subscribers should be able to listen to over 30 million tracks for free until January 2016.
Google will pay artists a small portion less than the usual amount for free trial users. Apple got into hot water for planning to not pay artists during its own three month free trial, but reversed plans after Taylor Swift attacked the decision on Tumblr.
It is not uncommon for streaming services to offer a free trial, but the current surge in free trial time for music services is worrying. Making big investments in the hope of more subscribers might sound promising, but Google is already losing a lot of ground with Google Play Music.
This type of large free trial also makes it harder for upstarts in the industry to succeed. Where they can only offer a month free, companies like Google and Apple don’t need to worry about extended trials for their service.
Google has shown time and time again it is all for the long-run. It recently launched Google Cloud Storage Nearline, and is offering £8,000 free cloud storage to customers that come over from Amazon Web Services.