Rumors persisted throughout this past weekend that Google is working on a subscription music service that would take on Spotify, Pandora and the like.
Bloomberg has since put out a report, citing two people with knowledge of the situation, that Google does indeed plan to do so, that negotiations are under way with major record labels, that the service will work with both Android and non-Android devices, and that the “worldwide service” is targeted for the third quarter. The report also says Google is discussing the renewal of deals for the use of songs in consumer-made YouTube videos.
Obviously Google doesn’t comment on “rumor and speculation”.
Such a service from Google would complement Google Play Music and YouTube quite nicely, basically eliminating the need for users to use Spotify or Pandora, provided that they prefer the Google experience. Of course, that will not necessarily be the case. People seem to be liking these services just fine, and Spotify’s heavy integration with Facebook seems to be a hit on the social level. Google still can’t really compete there (unless of course, they do tap into Facebook’s Open Graph).
Either way, such an offering will give people more reason to turn to Google for their music needs, and it will be interesting to see how the competition shakes out. Those deals with labels will obviously be of vital importance.
Meanwhile, it has been said that Spotify will try to negotiate with labels to make its free streaming service available on mobile devices, which would make the service all the more attractive of an option for users who aren’t willing to pay.
Google’s Google Music offering recently got music matching capabilities.