/// Why Google Thinks Two Music Subscription Services Are Better Than None
Alrighty. Time to start sorting out what Google is up to with music. And why it thinks it may make sense to launch two different music subscription services. Spoiler alert! No one outside of a handful of Googlers really knows. But we can make some educated guesses: As previously reported , Google’s Android unit wants to launch a subscription service . This one’s a no-brainer. Music is a key part of mobile, and Andy Rubin doesn’t want to cede that to outsiders like Spotify and Pandora. (Android’s effort to break into music via a download store and a scan-and-match locker have had little take-up.) And this one is relatively easy for music owners to sign off on, since they’ve already bought into the Spotify model — free ad-supported music that pushes users into a $10 a month mobile offer. As previously reported , Google’s YouTube unit wants to do…. something with a subscription service. At a minimum, YouTube is trying to collect the rights to sell music, in both audio and video form, via subscriptions. But it hasn’t told music owners what it actually wants to do with those rights, and it hasn’t shown outsiders a prototype of what it’s working on. This one also has some logic to it, but it’s not quite as clear-cut. More on that shortly. Before we get there, though: Regardless of what you’ve read about timelines (“imminent” or “Q3″, or “2013″, or “sometime” are all options), none of this can happen if Google doesn’t get deals with the music owners. Right now, as Billboard reports, Warner Music Group has signed on to both ideas. I hear that Universal Music Group, the world’s biggest music label, is interested, but is at least a month or so removed from inking a deal. But industry sources say Sony Music is resistant to all of this. For now. Even if Google gets all 3 of the big labels on board, it’s not home free.
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Why Google Thinks Two Music Subscription Services Are Better Than None