Recent reports have surfaced that suggest Google (GOOG) is working with record companies to launch a subscription-based streaming music service. According to an executive at a major record label, the company’s entrance into the industry will be a welcomed change. Francis Keeling, global head of digital business at Universal Music Group, explained that while digital revenue increased 9% in 2012, Google’s reach could turn millions of music listeners into paying subscribers, The Guardian reported. While some record labels have a rocky relationship with the search giant due to its slow response when blocking illegal pirating sites, the executive noted that Universal, which is home to artists including Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj, has a “great relationship” with the company.
“Google is a massive organisation with the many parts it operates, such as the search business and the device business and the music business with respect to YouTube and streaming,” he said. “Like all search engines, there is a problem; we’re asking all search engines to prioritize legal services. We know that search engines are a primary route for consumers to be able to find music and hope all search engines will implement those changes.”
Google’s upcoming music-streaming service is said to be similar to Spotify and will offer a free, ad-supported option alongside an ad-free premium service for paid users. The service is rumored to be launching in the third quarter this year.