On the eve of the I/O conference, there is a lot of buzz and even some rumors floating around amongst us techies. While we can certainly expect to see some Nexus-enabled gadgets and Google Glasses floating around, it’s what we might hear that is creating the buzz. Rumors are circulating that Google is entering the music space and might announce a subscription-based music services a la Spotify.
Online news organizations are reporting that Google has inked deals with music powerhouses Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. Certainly this has to make online music service companies like Spotify and Rdio nervous, but it should not come as a surprise either. After all, Google Music has been here for a while. Yet, Google Music is different – it’s more of a player, allowing users to upload and play their own [purchased] tunes online or via their smartphones. The new rumored offering would be a subscription-based service that would potentially open up access to thousands of songs if the deals with Universal and Sony have actually happened.
What is unclear is how the new subscription-based music service would fit with their widely popular YouTube brand or if it would be a part of YouTube in some form.
Online music services are big business and rumors have been also floating around for quite a while that Apple is looking to expand into this space as well, with what has been dubbed as “iRadio” but the rumor mill generator.
No official word from Google on the music service, but we wouldn’t expect anything until the I/O conference. We will wait anxiously as well.