Google could launch its own music streaming service to rival Spotify during the Google I/O keynote speech this evening, say sources close to the company.
According to these sources, Google will use its keynote speech to unveil a subscription music service having already reached agreements with major record labels.
Music industry sources talking to The Verge say Google has signed licensing deals with Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group for YouTube and Google Play.
The search engine giant has reportedly signed a licensing agreement with Warner Music Group earlier this year, meaning it has all three of the top record labels on board for a subscription music service.
Google is planning to launch subscription tiers for YouTube and its Android entertainment hub, the Google Play Store, enabling it to offer a music streaming service akin to Spotify’s multi-tiered subscription system.
Its music streaming service would allow users, like Spotify, to stream music tracks to their PCs and mobile devices on demand.
If Google was able to utilise YouTube’s huge userbase of 800 million unique visitors a month for its music-streaming service it would easily become an enormous competitor for Spotify. Spotify is said to have 23 million monthly active users across 28 countries, with 6 million subscribers and 20 million licensed songs within its library.
However, Google’s service is rumoured not to offer a free tier within its subscription model, unlike rival Spotify. It is unknown how much a subscription to the Google music service could cost, but it is bound to fall around the £10 mark if it wants to compete with existing services.
Apple is also said to be launching an Apple iRadio music service more akin to Pandora than music-streaming services like Spotify or that which could be offered by Google.
Although, Apple is said to be facing iRadio launch delays due to issues regarding royalty discussions with Sony Music Entertainment.
If Google launches its music-streaming service later today, it could uncut the effectiveness of iRadio if and when Apple releases it.