Google 'to launch iTunes rival in 2010'
Google is planning to launch a music download service linked to its search engine later this year in a bid to up the ante against Apple, according to a report.
The Wall Street Journal report states that the search giant is preparing to launch the music download offering in 2010, followed by an online subscription service in 2011.
The newspaper cites “people familiar with Google’s discussions with the music industry” as its sources, but was unable to confirm whether an actual deals have been signed with record labels so far.
Rumours that Google has been planning its own music streaming and download service have been doing the rounds since October 2009, but no confirmed details have yet to come to light.
According The Wall Street Journal, “Google has been stepping up its conversations about offering new music services tied to phones running its Android operating system along with the broader web”. However, the launch of Google’s download music store is still believed to be “still months away”.
The development of a music store would up the ante between the search giant and Apple – which operates the leading digital music store: iTunes. It would mark the latest round in the ongoing competition between the two technology giants, after Google launched its Android mobile platform to rival Apple’s iPhone software.
The first phase is expected to see Google launch a music download store, which is directly linked to its search engine.
This would be an “interim step”, according to the report’s sources, on the way to a “more ambitious cloud-based music subscription service compatible with mobile phones built with Google’s Android software”.
Both Google and Apple were unavailable to comment.
Google had begun to take small steps towards the music industry last year when it started linking to partner websites like iLike, which was later purchased by MySpace, allowing streaming with one click from its search page.