(By Balachander) Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) plans to launch a music-streaming service later this year would strengthen the record industry, an executive at Universal Music Group said.
The serach engine giant is already in negotiations with major record labels to license their music, according to reports.
Francis Keeling, global head of digital business at Universal Music Group, told the Guardian that Google's scale could turn millions more music listeners into paying subscribers.
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Google moving into the music streaming market would give the record industry a welcome boost on its path to recovery, Keeling said.
Google's upcoming music-streaming service will work with both Android and non-Android devices, Bloomberg reported quoting people with knowledge of the situation.
The "worldwide service" intended to take on Swedish service Spotify is rumored to be unveiled in the third quarter of this year. The service will offer paid users free unlimited listening supported by ads along with an ad-free premium service.
Google unveiled a cloud-based music service in 2011 to take on Apple's iTunes, which accounts for 60 percent of global digital music sales in 2012.
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On the other hand, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is also believed to be working on a music streaming service.
Spotify lists five million paying subscribers and 20 million users of its ad-supported service in 17 countries, Bloomberg reported. Spotify generated revenue of around $500 million last year, according to Techcrunch.