Will Google Announce Spotify Competitor Today?
Rumor has it Google will be debuting a subscription based music service at its annual developer conference, Google I/O, commencing today. The rumors intensified yesterday when The Verge reported that its music sources stated that the search giant secured licenses with Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group. This music services will be in addition to Google Music, Google’s cloud music service that allows users to upload songs in the cloud and listen to them on the web or on their Android devices. With this music service in place, Google will be in direct competion with the likes of Spotify.
As reported in the New York Times, Google is planning to announce its new music services as early as today. The subscription feature will be connected to Google Play, its online media hub. By introducing this service, the search company will be getting into the fastest growing area of digital music, music streaming. The service will compete directly with Swedish company Spotify and Pandora. Spotify currently has over 24 million regular users and Pandora has over 200 million. Although the subscription rate for Google’s service is not yet known, it is expected to be similar to that of Spotify, roughly $10 per month. According to Jim Cady, CEO of music service Slacker, several new players have entered the space recently and this growth and competition only validates the industry for them.
According to The Verge, Google received licensing agreements with Warner Music Group earlier this year. However, agreements with Sony and Universal give Google access to the two largest record companies. As stated in the article, Google is a powerful player when it comes to these negotiations. While Google Play is still relatively new, Google owned YouTube sees over 800 million unique visitors a month and music videos are among the most watched. This seems to be a good move for Google since digital music is gaining popularity. In fact, at Universal Music Group, digital music sales have now reportedly passed physical sales.
With big record labels on their side, Google’s new music service could have a big impact on competitors like Spotify and Rdio. What will be interesting to see is if users of already popular services like Spotify would be willing to try another service. How will Google entice them to do the switch? What are your thoughts on this?
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