May 15, 2013
Apple has long been rumored to be developing its own music streaming service, but it appears that Google is about to beat it to the punch. According to a scoop by The Verge, Google is set to announce its new music streaming services tomorrow at Google I/O, the company's annual developer conference. That's right: services, in the plural. The Verge reports:
Google plans to add separate music subscription services to YouTube and Google Play, the entertainment hub for the Android operating system.Google is said to have licensing deals with the top three record labels already in place for the services. Said labels are Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group. Apple, on the other hand, has reportedly been unable to complete deals with Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group, despite having signed with Universal Music. This setback is said to be what's delaying the release of Apple's incipient music streaming service. Apple's service is rumored to resemble Pandora in that it will also be an automated music recommendation service, playing random songs of a certain genre based on an artist selection. But Google's services are described as more like Spotify, streaming songs and albums from its catalog on demand. The New York Times notes that the subscription rate for the Google Play music streaming service is "expected to be similar to that of Spotify and other competing services like Rhapsody and Rdio, about $10 a month." It will not offer a free tier, the publication reports. We'll know for sure what Google has in store when it makes its announcement tomorrow at Google I/O, to be held at Moscone Center in San Francisco.