Google owns YouTube, the largest video streaming site in the world by a huge margin, and Play Music, the service that lets users download songs from a catalog of over 13 million of tracks. It makes perfect sense for the tech giant to move into the music streaming business, and, according to the Financial Times, that is precisely what Google is doing.
The move will put Google in competition with established music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify. When Apple was rumored to weigh in an entry in the sector, Pandora’s stock tanked, so I am wondering how the markets will react at the news of Google getting into streaming. Larry Page’s company has a reputation of offering free or cheap services, which would put even more pressure on a competitive and notoriously difficult industry.
As The Next Web notes, Google already announced plans to roll out paid subscriptions on YouTube. From there, the move to paid music subscriptions is logical and quite reasonable to envisage. Google certainly possesses the infrastructure required for the venture.
Also, Google’s Music Match service is similar to a streaming app, albeit without the paid subscription. With Music Match, Google scans the users’ drives for music, which it then proceeds to match with cloud-stored versions. Users of the service (limited to the US and some European countries) can then listen to up to 20,000 tracks directly from the cloud, from any Internet connected device.
My bet is Google will integrate the new streaming service into its current Google Music offering. As for when the new service is expected to launch, we have no information, but Google I/O would certainly make a great launch venue.