Google preparing a music streaming service, Pandora and Spotify should be worried

by: Bogdan PetrovanFebruary 23, 2013

Google Play Music

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.

  • aholsteinson

    Nice. I think what will ultimately decide on it’s succes is how widely available they make this service. They need to push it to as many countries as possible and as fast as is possible. If they stay on US-only mode for a year or so and then start really slowly rolling the service into a few more countries (as they are currently doing with Play) I don’t see the service taking off in any significant way.

  • My bet is Google will make this US only.

    • marino

      Yep I have the same feeling. For example play store is very limited in Poland. No movies no music no ebooks no magazines only apps. It won’t be any competition for spotify with such a availability. What’s more US companies always come to our market too late when it’s already dominated by other companies from Europe. For example eBay failed on our market no one use it. We have our own auction portal which is much better.

      • same here, since i am in 3rd world country i also get apps only. no music, books, magazine even it is free one.

  • Kindroid

    This makes perfect sense for the labels, as well. Android opens a massive market for them to access. Renting the rights to music will be more profitable long term….than selling the rights to own music.

  • It’s nice to hear it, now I can stream latest music on my GS3.

  • Good for regular user but I would never let software to handle my music, I’ll buy and I’ll transfer to my phone what is new and what I want to listen to this week. I don’t need thousands of my old tracks which I would listen to once in awhile. But I’m not regular user I know…

  • nonfornow

    I’m in Canada packing a Nexus and I still can’t even buy music from Google. Maybe they should finish what they already started before launching more vaporware.

  • Jason Berek-Lewis

    Google should focus on making it’s music service available to people outside of the USA…