Google unveils new pay music streaming service, new products and user increase at annual developers conference.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (MAY 15, 2013) (GOOGLE) - Google on Wednesday (May 15) launched a music service that allows users to listen to unlimited songs for $9.99 (USD) a month, challenging smaller companies like Pandora and Spotify in the market for streaming music.
With its new service, announced at its annual developers' conference in San Francisco, Google has adopted the streaming music business model ahead of rival Apple Inc, which pioneered online music purchases with iTunes.
Google's service lets users customize song selections and stream individual playlists, or listen to a curated, radio-like stream. It will launch for U.S. users first, then roll it out in several other countries.
Google, Amazon.com Inc and Apple are among the Silicon Valley powerhouses sounding out top recording industry executives, according to sources with knowledge of talks and media reports. Pandora is spending freely and racking up losses to expand globally. Even social media stalwarts Facebook and Twitter are jumping on the streaming music bandwagon.
Google said revenue from Android, the software used by Samsung and othermobile device makers that competes with Apple, is also gaining momentum. Google executives said revenue per user for Android applications developers is now 2-1/2 times its year-earlier level.
Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page also took the stage at the end of I/O keynote. Page made headlines on Tuesday (May 14) after providing the first public details of the voice ailment that sidelined him from speaking engagements last summer, saying that he has limited movement in his left and right vocal cords. The medical issues did not deter him from talking about his vision for Google.
"Every story I read about Google is kind of us versus some other company over some stupid thing and I just don't find that very interesting. We should be building great things that don't exist," said Page, speaking very softly into a microphone.
Roughly 5,500 software developers are attending this year's "Google I/O" convention at San Francisco's Moscone Center through Friday May 17.