Google reportedly in discussions with labels about creating music streaming service [UPDATED]Alex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
Google first introduced its Google Music service in 2011, offering to store a user's music collection in the cloud and stream it to their devices, and the company also sells music through its Google Play store. Now a new report claims that Google is considering introducing yet another way for us to consume music: a streaming service. According to the Financial Times, Google is currently in talks with major music labels to launch a streaming music service similar to existing services such as Spotify and Rdio. It's thought that the Google service will feature both a paid subscription model as well as a free tier with unlimited, ad-supported streaming.
If Google does end up launching its own streaming music service, it wouldn't be the first major mobile company to do so. Microsoft's Xbox Music service allows free ad-supported streaming on Windows 8 products and also offers a paid, ad-free tier. Apple has also reportedly been in talks with music labels lately about launching a Pandora-like streaming radio service.
While it doesn't seem as though services like Spotify and Rdio have become the primary way that most people consume music, they are becoming more popular, and I'm sure that many folks would like to see what kind of service Google could whip up. Considering Android's widespread adoption, it'd also be interesting to see whether or not Google would build the streaming service into its mobile OS to help boost usage. How many of you already use a streaming music service like Spotify or Rdio? Would you sign up for such a service from Google if it offered one?
UPDATE: A new report from The Verge has backed up these claims, saying that Google has indeed been talking with music firms about creating a streaming service. Such a service may still be a ways off, though, as the site's sources claim that Google is aiming for a launch sometime in Q3 2013.