Google Play Music’s streaming music service has launched in India, undercutting Apple Music’s dramatically discounted subscription in the country, as both companies play the long game.

India’s Economic Times reports that the service will cost Rs89/month ($1.38) for those signing up in the next 45 days, and Rs99/month ($1.53) afterwards. This compares with the Rs120/month ($1.86) cost for Apple Music.

Google also seems to be working hard to include music from the region.

At the time of writing this article, we noticed the service offers music across various languages like Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Western, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and World.

While neither company can be making any significant income from such heavily-discounted rates, both will be taking a long-term view, hoping that if you bring people into the ecosystem now their lifetime value to the company will be significant.

As I recently outlined, India is currently a tiny market for Apple, but a huge population and growing middle-class makes it one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Smartphone shipments in India, for example, grew by 18% against a worldwide average of just 3%.

It’s for this reason that Apple is working so hard to establish a greater foothold in the country through initiatives like local manufacturing, retail stores and support for app developers. Google will be doing all it can to promote its own ecosystem for the same reasons.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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