Tim Quirk, the creator of Google Plays new All Access, a service that will allow users to stream music, around 18 million songs, similar to Spotify, is attempting to solve two timeless problems with music. The first, on the business side. is how to monetize it, which is tricky in the era of free. The other is on the consumer side. Their service, when combined with Google Play, which puts all of the users songs that they own on a cloud, giving users the ability to expand upon what they already enjoy by tapping in to their musical taste. Quirk spoke with Spin.
For any given starting point, whatever you come in wanting to listen to, our job is to make sure there are no dead ends. Everything that you're listening to is connected to ten other things that you might want to listen to that are all highly relevant to you. The general idea is that once someone comes into the service, it should feel like falling down a rabbit hole. Maybe you just said, "Oh, I'll listen to 'Get Lucky.' I guess I'll listen to the whole album." Then you get to the track about Giorgio Moroder and listen to some of his '70s stuff. Maybe from there there's a curated playlist of early soul songs from '70s disco stars. Before you know it, you're like "Oh shit, three hours just went by!" You should feel like you're choosing your own adventure. You should never feel our hand pushing you in a particular direction but our hand is on your back. It's just much subtler than it used to be.
As for the money, he's hoping All Access keeps enough new music coming to make it worth the price.
If you look at the percentage of actions that are driven by search, which is clearly intentional, versus just randomly selecting from whatever we put up for them, search draws a much higher percentage of music than it does movies. No movie service, not even Netflix, has everything, so you're bounded by what's in the window at any given time. But a lot of people feel like, "I want to watch a movie. What's available?" rather than "I want to see Jackie Brown this second." With music, I think more than fifty percent of people start with a specific thing in mind, and once they're done with that, whatever that starting point was, our job is give them a bunch of other things that are closely constellated. You're only going to keep paying a monthly fee if you're constantly surprised by new stuff.