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Google reportedly wants to take on Spotify. The news, which was first reported on The Verge, says that the internet giant is planning on rolling out a subscription music streaming service as early as this week at the company’s I/O event.
The news is hardly surprising as Google signed a deal with Warner Music for two streaming services last year, one tied to YouTube and the other to Android Music.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the New York Times reports that the subscription feature will be connected to Google Play, “complementing its download store and ‘locker’ feature, which lets people store their digital entertainment collections online”.
According the reports, Google’s new licensing deals now include other music power houses such as Sony Music Group and Universal Music Group, which now allow Google to use their music on YouTube and Google Play. Significant deals like these really put Google ahead in the music streaming game, where others have faced critical hurdles because of licensing.
The announcement is said to come as early as later today. If Google does launch the service it will indeed put it in direct competition with Spotify, Pandora and Apple’s iTunes. These services are current leaders in the space with Spotify boasting 24-million monthly users and iTunes music available almost everywhere in the world.
Tying this service to YouTube could be a game changer if the company gets the rights to stream free big named content on smartphones. Although currently the word on the street is that there is no free tier to the service, and that subscriptions could begin at US$10 a month on par with current music services. It’s also not clear if the service will be available worldwide, which is something most services like Spotify have not been able to crack.