By Alexandra Burlacu | May 15, 2013 11:38 AM EDT
Google is reportedly ramping up to launch a Spotify challenger, i.e. a paid streaming music service that could debut as early as the Google I/O 2013 keynote.
The company's annual Google I/O developers conference is about to kick off and the new music subscription service is expected to be among the big announcements.
The Verge was the first to report on the news, with the report later picked up and confirmed by other publications, including the New York Times (NYT) and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The NYT confirms the report based on what it learned from "people briefed on the plans," while the WSJ says "people familiar with the matter" also confirmed that Google is set to launch a music streaming service similar to Spotify as soon as this week.
The news, however, should not be all that surprising. Major suppliers of digital music, including Apple, Amazon and Google had an eye on streaming music services ever since Spotify and competitors like Rdio or LastFM emerged and started getting popular and adding users.
Rumors suggest that Google has been working on its own music streaming service for a good while now, but negotiations now reached the point when the service is actually ready to make its debut. According to reports from The Verge and the WSJ, Google signed separate licensing deals with Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment for both YouTube and Google Play. The deals are designed to give users unlimited access to certain libraries of their songs in exchange for a fee.
The NYT reports that Google's music service will not have a free option, but it will have a paid subscription option available at or around $10 per month, roughly the rate of competing services. Stay tuned for Google I/O coverage to learn more about Google's plans.
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