Google Play Music may get unlimited streaming subscription

Google's content push continues, with the company rumoured to be taking aim at Spotify with a subscription offering in Play Music

26 Feb 2013
Google Android 4.2

Google is apparently looking to take on Spotify with an extension to Google Play Music which will see unlimited streaming made available under monthly subscription terms.

Currently, Google Play Music acts as a cloud-based repository for a user's existing music - uploaded through a smart song-matching engine that runs on a user's computer - as well as a storefront for buying songs and albums, largely focused on the company's Android mobile platform. What it doesn't offer is the option to pay a subscription fee for unlimited access to the company's entire music collection - something with which start-up Spotify has enjoyed great success.

This may change with the launch of Play Music subscriptions. According to anonymous sources speaking to Bloomberg, Google is looking to launch the subscription service later this year with support for its own Android platform as well as PC and OS X clients and, most likely, mobile applications for third-party smartphones and tablets.

While no pricing information has been provided, Google is likely to try to undercut rivals: the majority of its cloud-based services are free of charge for at least basic use, with heavier users charged correspondingly more. As a result, Google may decide to launch a multi-tiered subscription offering, giving limited access for a small monthly fee or unlimited access for a higher fee. Whether this will exceed the £9.99 a month Spotify charges for its own unlimited mobile-supported streaming service is not know, but unlikely.

Google, for its part, has been silent on the rumours - but few could deny the company is on a content push, adding the ability to buy and rent films, music, books, magazines and newspapers to its Google Play store on Android devices and spreading that out to other parts of its empire, including video sharing site YouTube which recently received film-rental capabilities of its own.

Read more