Google Play Music is a monthly music subscription service that offers some interesting benefits for parents. With your paid subscription, you get access to Google’s music library of over 35 million songs, ad-free listening, offline listening capability, YouTube Red, and the ability to upload up to 50,000 songs from your own library.
With such a large online library of songs, there are plenty of options for your little ones, like Baby Genius, nursery rhymes (Rockabye Baby FTW!), and even Disney collections. My daughter has her own playlist and I’m constantly adding new songs to it. She has songs from Frozen, LEGO Friends, Pitch Perfect, Snow White, Gummi Bears, Dora, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and of course her favorite, Taylor Swift.
The biggest Google Play Music benefit is YouTube integration. This really sets it apart from its competitors, Apple Music and Spotify. YouTube has such a huge library of children’s content, both old and new. Being a child of the 80s, I appreciate being able to find and watch clips and full episodes from that magical era of cartoons.
You’re not just getting YouTube though. You’re getting YouTube Red, which offers features like ad-free and offline viewing. It’s nice not being interrupted by ads but as a parent, the ability to save videos for offline viewing is the real benefit. Imagine you’re on a road trip or a long plane ride with no internet access and your toddler is “getting bored.” Being able to pull up some videos to keep them entertained for awhile can provide a much needed breather. The videos take up a lot less space on your tablet than a downloaded and purchased TV episode or movie. This will let you build up a lot of ammo for the eventual meltdown. It’s also friendlier on your wallet because purchasing a bunch of shows or movies from a digital store can really add up over time.
That’s rad, but how much does it cost?
An individual subscription to Google Play Music costs $9.99/month (plus tax). What you really want is the family plan for $14.99/month (plus tax). YouTube Red alone costs $9.99/month. With the family plan, you can share the account with up to six people to drastically reduce your monthly cost. Just because it’s called a family plan, it doesn’t mean you have to share with your spouse and kids. It can be your friends or outside family members. Even after tax, my maxed out family group pays less than $3 per person per month.
As an FYI, Google has measures in place that prevent you from sharing your account with others. While you can use the service on multiple devices, your account can’t be used simultaneously. If you’re playing music on your phone, and your spouse or kid tries to play music on a tablet, you’ll get kicked off your phone.
I’ve used all three services and like anything else, they each have their pros and cons. The pricing for the family plan is the same across the board, so it really came down to features. It’s really hard to beat the value that you get with Google Play Music because of the YouTube relationship, unless you NEVER use YouTube. The app is available on both Android and iOS.