Google to Unveil Streaming Music Service at Google I/O Tomorrow
Google is set to announce a new music subscription service tomorrow at its annual Google I/O conference, reports The Verge, having finalized deals with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment., and Warner Music Group.
The service is said to be a direct Spotify competitor, offering up songs on demand that can be streamed to a computer or mobile device for a set monthly fee.
Though Google has had an existing music service since 2011, it operates in a manner that is similar to iTunes, allowing users to purchase individual songs and albums. It also has a "locker" that lets users store digital entertainment collections.
Pricing information on the new service has yet to be released, but The New York Times claims that Google will not offer a freemium ad-supported tier.
Google's streaming service will not include a free tier, according to the people briefed on the plans who did not want to be identified discussing confidential matters. The subscription rate was not known, but is expected to be similar to that of Spotify and other competing services, like Rhapsody and Rdio, which tend to charge about $10 a month.
While Google's streaming music service will be released ahead of Apple's rumored iRadio service, the two are fundamentally different. With a Spotify model Google will be able to offer songs piecemeal, while Apple's iRadio is said to closely resemble Pandora, which plays a selection of random songs based on user preference. As of last week, Apple was still in negotiations with music labels.
Google's subscription music service will be connected to Play, Google's digital content distribution platform. The Wall Street Journal notes that the upcoming streaming music service is separate from a second paid music subscription service in the works from YouTube, which would give users access to music videos and audio-only songs.
Google I/O is set to kick off tomorrow with an opening keynote at 9am PT at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.