Google's Play Music app is a big deal in the Android world and it is getting bigger by the day. The folks over at Android Police recently noticed that Play Music shot past the 500 million download mark in Google Play, putting the app in very select company.
Only Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and a selection of other Google apps have crossed the 500 million threshold. While impressive, that 500 million download number doesn't necessarily mean there are 500 million active users, as the statistic counts total downloads and not current users.
Google Music is something of a hybrid service that's one part music storage locker—storing your music collection in the cloud for anywhere, everywhere streaming—and one part subscription streaming service. In addition, Play Music can access any files stored locally on your device's Music folder.
The story behind the story: Of course, it's not as hard to cross the 500 million threshold when the app is currently the stock music player in Android—the world's most widely used mobile OS. Nevertheless, Google can leverage Play Music's massive distribution base to make its subscription streaming service, All Access, a major player in the music streaming game that includes competitors such as Spotify and Apple-owned Beats Music.
Play Music's massive distribution base is all the more compelling when you consider the list of supported countries for the app numbers less than 50. That's the official number, however, and the app is more widely available on Android phones than the list of official Music-supported countries suggests.
Official list or not, it's likely Google's goal is to make Play Music the most widely used music locker/streaming service in the world. By automatically installing Play to every Google-sanctioned Android device (read: nearly every major Android device you've ever heard of), the company may be able to do just that.