Lately, we've been hearing a few different reports about Google looking to add a streaming music service to their Google Music service that already exists. This would be to take on Pandora, Spotify and a few other competitors. Google is said to launch this new service in Q3 of this year. Now according to a Universal Music Group executive "Google's plans to launch a music-streaming service would give the record industry a welcome boost on its path to recovery". Which makes it sound like at least Universal Music Group is on board for this new service from Google. In addition, the global head of digital business for Universal, Francis Keeling, stated "Google's scale could turn millions more music listeners into paying subscribers." Which is a big possibility.
We've reported within the past week, that Google is said to be in talks with major music labels. It'll be interesting to see how many are on board for launch in Q3. When Keeling was speaking in London at the launch of industry body IFPI's annual report on Tuesday, he said "we talk about subscription services, the need to have a funnel. Google with its hundreds of millions of users through search, YouTube with its more than 800 million users, arguably is the biggest funnel we could have." He went on to say, "Clearly if we could get consumers into a legal funnel through that route and encourage them to subscription, that would have a very positive impact on the business."
So is it just me or does it sound like Google has at least Universal on board for their subscription service? Google launched their cloud-based Google Music service back in 2011 in the US. This was made to compete with Apple's iTunes and to give Android users a service to use music on their Android devices. Since iTunes didn't really work for Android without some third-party apps. Late last year, Google Music expanded to Europe, but they still cannot buy music over there. Universal's Keeling also said that they have a "great relationship" with Google which means they will probably support this move by Google. Keeling went on to say:
"Google is a massive organisation with the many parts it operates, such as the search business and the device business and the music business with respect to YouTube and streaming,"
"Like all search engines, there is a problem; we're asking all search engines to prioritise legal services. We know that search engines are a primary route for consumers to be able to find music and hope all search engines will implement those changes."
Currently, online subscription services like Spotify and Rdio are expected to contribute more than 10% of the record industry's digital revenue for the first time in 2012. Which is a big sign as to how important having a subscription-based music streaming service would be for Google. Digital music revenues were upabout 9% last year compared to the year before.
How many of you are looking forward to a streaming music service from Google? Let us know in the comments below.