Google has Spotify, Rhapsondy and Rdio in its sights, if reports about an impending product announcement are to be believed.
The New York Times are reporting that Google are on the verge of announcing their own streaming service. The new venture is expected to be announced later today at Google I/O, the company’s annual gathering of software developers.
The company has reportedly been in negotiations with record companies for months, a process the Times suggest might have been aggravated by Google’s fraught relationship with music business. Licensing agreements have reportedly been reached with Sony, Warner and Universal, although neither Google nor record company representatives have officially confirmed the news.
The service is expected to be integrated with Google Play, allowing customers to make use of its download store and storage capabilities. Unlike Spotify, the service will require a subscription by default, expected to cost approximately “$10 a month” in line with comparable services.
Update: Bearing the unwieldy name Google Play Music All Access, the service is rolling out today, with both ad-supported and paid versions. After a 30-day free trial, the subscription will cost $9.99 in the US; users who sign up before June 30 will receive $2 off the monthly fee.
Interestingly, YouTube – which is owned and operated by Google – is apparently also in negotiations with records companies about starting its own streaming service. Elsewhere in the sector, Apple is rumoured to be working on an online radio service, whilst Amazon are also sniffing around the streaming market. Spotify currently has a user base of 24m, of which 6m are paid subscribers.