Last night, a new page was launched on the Google Store that has a rather odd and unexpected focus – subscriptions. This new page collects all of the company’s subscription-based services into one place and advertises them in an effort to gain new sign-ups. While I think that it’s unusual to see this page launch on this specific outlet (or maybe it’s right at home?), it’s not at all surprising to see Google make this move in the first place. The new page – which can be found using the blue button below, markets their paid services in four categories:
Shows & Music
- Youtube TV
- Live TV from 85+ top channels.
- Recording with unlimited DVR space.
- Watch on Nest displays, Chromecasts, and Pixels.
- Youtube Premium
- Ad-free YouTube.
- YouTube Music included.
- Download videos for offline viewing.
- Play even if your screen is locked.
- Youtube Music Premium
- Ad-free YouTube Music.
- Play millions of songs and videos.
- Download songs to your Pixel.
- Enjoy music even while using other apps.
- Stadia Pro
- Play games instantly on the things you already have with Stadia.
- Subscribe for free games with Stadia Pro.
- Discover more free games each month.
- Google Play Pass
- Hundreds of games and apps.
- No ads or in-app purchases.
- Curated collection updated monthly.
- Share with up to 5 family members.
Storage & Security
- Google One
- Get extra cloud storage.
- Back up the important things on your phone.
- Encrypt your online activity with a VPN.
- Earn Google Store rewards (up to 10% back)
- Nest Aware
- Don’t miss a thing on all Nest cameras.
- Get up to 60 days event video history.
- Get up to 10 days 24/7 video history.
- Receive alerts when packages arrive.
- Google Fi
- A phone plan with simpler pricing and smarter coverage.
- Pay for the data you use, or choose unlimited.
- No stores, activation fees, or contracts.
We’ve already had an at length discussion about how Google isn’t evil, but they are in the midst of an identity crisis. In today’s society where users are becoming increasingly privacy-minded, they must reshape their public perception from that of an ad-revenue-driven service provider that’s free for everyone to access in exchange for their personal data to that of a company that relies more on direct payments in exchange for services. As they approach their 2023 anti-trust lawsuit hearing – that’s right, the company’s trial with the Justice Department was recently set to go to court no sooner than 2023 – they must ween themselves off of ad-revenue so that the verdict we all know they may receive will be much less of a blow by that time.
That’s why we’ve seen them leaning so heavily into subscription models over these past few months. I predicted that this wouldn’t be the last of it and this new page proves that I was right on that account. I personally think that it’s a great model to shift into – money for services – but the concern that many users have is that Google will likely continue to leverage their data in specific ways in addition to asking for their money. There’s no word on how things will work over the next few years, but storing data and using it to serve ads are two different things. I think that the former is unavoidable and necessary, while the latter is not. If they use your data for ads in addition to taking your hard-earned cash, they would be double-dipping, so we’re hoping that Google sorts out some of these problems before they cross that bridge.
I’ve said this before, but it may prove to be more difficult than you think to please everyone as their famous single-sign-on slash unified account management across all of their services forces each of them to be deeply integrated and tied to one another. I personally love this as it’s created a more unified ecosystem for us all, but it does pose concerns for those who feel that Google should be completely hands off of data in the instances where they are receiving payments.
What do you think about this conundrum? Do you currently subscribe to one or several of the above services? Will you buy into them if it means that Google will agree to stop accessing your data to serve you ads? Does that create a more balanced Google? How do you feel that their subscription line-up can improve? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!