The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is in negotiations to develop their own Spotify-like streaming music service for their Android operating system.
The WSJ, via MacRumors:
Google Inc.’s Android unit has been negotiating with music companies to start a paid subscription music-streaming service akin to Spotify AB, according to people familiar with the matter.
Separately, Google’s YouTube video website is trying to obtain licenses from music labels to start a paid subscription service for music videos and potentially also for audio-only songs, these people said.
Google currently offers an iTunes Match-like scan and match music service, along with their own music download store.
Apple has long been rumored to be developing their own subscription music streaming service, with more recent reports indicating a debut sometime in 2013.
Update: Bloomberg reports that Google will launch their streaming music service sometime in Q3 of this year:
Google Inc., developer of the Android mobile-phone platform, plans to start a subscription music-streaming service to challenge Spotify Ltd., said two people with knowledge of the situation.
Negotiations are under way with major record labels to license their music, said the people, who sought anonymity because the talks are confidential. Google, which also owns the YouTube video website, is also discussing renewing deals that cover the use of songs in videos made by consumers, they said.
The worldwide service is targeted for a third quarter start, said one of the people. The effort would strengthen Google’s ties to consumers through its Android software, the most popular operating system in smartphones, as consumers access more music and videos on the go. Spotify lists 5 million paying subscribers and 20 million users of its ad-supported service in 17 countries.