Google looks set to shake up the world of music streaming, with rumours claiming the tech giant is preparing to launch a service to rival market leader, Spotify.
According to a report in The Verge, Google will this week debut a subscription music service at its annual developer conference, Google I/O.
According to industry sources, Google plans to add separate music subscription services to YouTube and Google Play and has already struck licensing deals with Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music and Universal Music Group, giving it access to the portfolios of the largest record companies.
This would launch Google into direct competition with market leader Spotify, which boasts the largest song library at 20 million licensed songs, and six million paying subscribers.
Other players are Pandora, Slacker and iHeartRadio but these services stream online radio, rather than songs on demand. In Australia, Songl also operates in this realm.
The move would complement Google Music – Google's existing cloud-based music service which enables users upload thousands of already purchased songs in the cloud, then listen to them across their Android devices or online.
It’s thought Google is aiming to beat Apple to the streaming fray, with reports citing the electronics giant is also racing to create its own platform.
It is believed, however, that Apple’s offering would more closely resemble online radio streaming services like Pandora.