Reports have surfaced that Google will reveal its new music subscription service tomorrow at the company’s annual software developers I/O Conference in San Francisco.
Google has signed licensing deals with the world’s top 3 major labels Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment ahead of the service’s debut. The news means Google will unveil their music subscription service ahead of Apple, who, according the New York Times, has been slow to negotiate with publishers and labels.
Google’s service is reportedly similar to rival Spotify. The service will apparently operate through Google Play and allow users to stream music on-demand via mobile devices and PCs. However, unlike Spotify, Google will not offer a free version of their service. Although no official monthly fee has been released it’s speculated the price will be similar to Spotify and Rdio, at around $10 per month.
Google’s soon-to-be unveiled subscription service differs from Apples yet-to-be realised option, as Apple plans to offer an online radio service similar to Pandora. In fact when Apple announced its plans in September last year Pandora shares dived.
Spotify might be in a spot of bother over the release of Google’s new music service. Despite the company’s incredible take-up rate, Spotify has dealt with ongoing conflicts with labels and criticism from artists for insufficient royalties. Only last week it was revealed a Google Chrome extension called Downloadify was allowing users to download songs from Spotify for free.
To further convolute matters Google is also apparently developing a separate music subscription service for YouTube. There are scant details on the YouTube service but negotiations with music companies are apparently in progress.
By entering the music streaming service market Google will tap into the most rapidly growing arena of digital music. Spotify, which was founded in 2008 and launched in Australia almost a year ago, has 6 million paying users worldwide and 24 million regular users in total. Meanwhile Pandora boasts in excess of a whopping 200 million users globally, though its majority of users opt for the free tier.
No word yet as to when the Google’s music streaming service will be available outside the US.
(via New York Times)