It's been rumored for months now that Apple has been working on a "radio" feature in its iTunes program that would deliver streaming music based upon a user's tastes – a service something like Pandora – that further merges the experience of being in a "store" to purchase music, and then listening to it in a "player." With Apple likely to move in that direction, Fortune has just learned that Google is likewise working on a new music subscription service for later this year that will overlap with Google's Android music platform, Google Play.
The Fortune report states that "YouTube is already one of the most heavily used music services in the world, but it hasn't yet charged users. Instead, it sells ads against its music videos; a cut goes back to the record companies."
The two new Google
services are defined by their respective places in the Google Empire: Google
Play for Android is a digital locker for music -- users buy, store, and sort a
collection of tracks; but on YouTube's coming service, anyone will be able to listen
to tracks for free. Both services are said to be adding a subscription fee that
will unlock additional features. For the YouTube-based service, this will
To date, the business model for music subscriptions has yet to connect with the public. These types of services have yet to put a dent into the iTunes model which has been dominant since its launch. If history is any lesson, Google's next run at iTunes is unlikely to succeed. And when you consider that Apple already has a radio or subscription service backup plan in the wings, I highly doubt that anything Google does on this front later this year will be able to shake the market in any meaningful way.