In his first interview since taking over as Android boss, Google's Sundar Pichai said that the company wouldn't be showing any new hardware or software at Google I/O. He didn't say anything about updates to existing software though.
The Verge reports that Google has signed a deal with Universal Music and Sony Music as part of its plans to debut a streaming music service at Google I/O today. The report also says that Google's service would be much like Spotify - offering instant streaming of any song on desktop and mobile devices.
Now, the interesting part of this report says that Google is planning on launching two separate music subscription services for YouTube and Google Play Music. It's no secret that YouTube has become a popular music player with many artists uploading songs to the service. A subscription-based music streaming service would also fit in well with Google's latest attempt to monetize YouTube. For example, labels could use paid channels to offer entire albums on YouTube to subscribers.
As for Google Play Music, a report out of The New York Times says that Google won't be offering a free, ad-supported tier of its streaming service. There's no word on how much it will cost, but it's said to be competitively priced. in other words, expect to pay about $10 a month for Google's streaming service.
Even without a free option, Google's streaming service is an important step in its continued path towards media domination. Apple has been a dominant force in music since the introduction of iTunes in 2001, and Google only started playing catch up with the introduction of Google Music in 2011. The introduction of a music streaming service would put Google ahead of Apple until the Cupertino-based company decides to debut its own rumored streaming service.
We'll find out later today during Google's opening I/O keynote if a music streaming service is in the cards for the company. We'll be covering it live, of course, but you can watch Google's live stream here. The keynote is slated to start at 9 a.m. PST/12 p.m. EST.