Google Home Offering Free Trials for Pandora Premium and 99 Cents for Deezer – Illustrates Bigger Picture Around Streaming on Smart Speakers
Google Home has occasional special offers for users and two current options involve music. Device users can get access to a free 90-day trial of Pandora Premium or for 99 cents can access Deezer for three months. Both services will cost you $9.99 per month after the trial period. The offers also say “terms apply,” but there doesn’t appear to be anywhere to actually see those terms unless you go to the company websites. The click-through takes you to another Google Home support page. You can access Google Home offers here. Pandora’s free version has been available on Google Home since launch, but this represents the first introduction of the more robust Pandora Premium service.
There is also an offer for a 30-day free trial of YouTube Premium listed that expired in July. However, it appears you can still take advantage of it if you don’t mind entering your credit card and risking a $11.99 charge after the trial period concludes.
Google Home Offers New Pandora and Deezer Voice Controls
Hyperbot is also reporting that these promotions come with new voice controls. The post by Bruce Houghton says, “Pandora Premium subscribers can now search and play their favorite songs, albums and playlists using their voice. Deezer users can stream music hands-free, and on Google Home Max control the volume.” The Verge’s James Bareham added some more detail in reporting,
“Pandora Premium is compatible with some of Google Home’s most convenient features; for example, you can ask Google to play a track by speaking some of the lyrics aloud. You can also thumbs up or thumbs down the currently playing song (or create a new station based on it) with voice commands, and Pandora’s curated featured playlists and personalized, mood-based selections (focus, happy, chill, energy, rainy day, etc.) [are also available].”
Pandora is available only to U.S. users. Deezer is offered on mobile in 182 countries but Hyperbot reports it is only available on Google Home in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy the U.K. and U.S.
Why This Matters
The Pandora deal is similar to what consumers can get today on mobile. Deezer doesn’t look like it is offering this deal generally today, but has in the past. So, the deals aren’t unique, but the device tie-in is important. The killer app for smart speakers is music listening. It is the most frequently accessed smart speaker use case. As a result, it is important for Google to get more people using music services regularly to ensure high frequency of use for Google Home. Google would prefer you adopt one of its own properties such as the YouTube Premium music service, but it is more critical to the company that consumers use Google Assistant-enabled devices.
Similarly, Amazon offers access to other services such as Spotify, Pandora, and Deezer, but it also heavily promotes the use of Amazon Music Unlimited as an alternative. Growing the music business is important, but subordinate to getting more people using the voice assistant. The outlier here is Apple. HomePod does not allow native access to streaming services that compete with Apple Music. You can only use services such as Spotify and Pandora by streaming them through an iOS device and then connecting them to your HomePod via Bluetooth. That limits your ability to control the experience by voice. In this case, you can see that Apple places Siri adoption as subordinate to its paid services.