Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced Friday that his company has logged 100 million subscriptions to Google One, its all-in-one subscription service that opens up additional storage for free services like Gmail, Drive, and Photos, as well as access to more features.
Transitioning from free plans
Hitting the milestone highlights the company's efforts to remove people from its free plans, such as discontinuing unlimited Google Drive storage for photos. Google's YouTube Premium service took nine years to get there. Still, it recently hit 100 million subscribers, thanks to ad removal and extra features like music or high-quality streaming (at the same time as YouTube made changes to crack down on ad blockers).
The company said it was close to the 100 million mark when it released its fourth-quarter earnings last month. It revealed the billions it spent on layoffs and noted that again last week while launching an AI Premium Plan tier.
Introducing the AI Premium Plan
The new AI plan is similar to the company's $100-per-year Google One Premium plan, which comes with 2TB of storage and other features like VPN and dark web monitoring, except it's twice as expensive. It gives users access to a beefed-up version of Gemini, the new name for its Bard chatbot, and it will soon add access to those generative AI features inside services like Gmail and Docs.
According to the troubleshooting section of Google's support page for AI Premium signups, users can't subscribe to the AI Premium plan through Apple's App Store payments. To subscribe, you have to cancel that plan first. Also, it can't be shared across family groups.
In conclusion, Google's achievement of 100 million subscribers for Google One reflects the growing prominence of subscription-based models in today's digital economy. With the introduction of innovative offerings like the AI Premium Plan, Google is well-positioned to meet users' evolving needs and expectations while driving continued growth and engagement.