Google launches [US only] free music streaming ahead of Apple Music debut | The Verge

As Apple Music nears its June 30th launch, Google is getting more aggressive about trying to sell users on its own Google Play Music service. Today the company is launching a free, ad-supported...
Contrary to some potentially confusing reporting (Rolling Stone, for instance), Google's new 'lean back' smart radio feature will not allow ad-supported 'free' users to select specific songs -- but they'll be able to listen to curated playlists (a la Songza, which they bought and folded into GPM) as well as smart radio-style 'stations' seeded off a given artist or track, a la Pandora. But to get full on-demand song and album selections, users will still need a paid subscription; in this way, Google reportedly hopes to keep artist revenues high, while wicking in new users with the ad-driven 'smart radio' tier.