As if branching out into hardware like phones and tablets, driverless cars, and even augmented reality glasses wasn't enough, Google is also working on a free music streaming service, the Financial Times reports.
The service would try to drown out the likes of Spotify, Deezer, and Nokia Music. The launch is said to be "impending", so it seems Google is still just tuning up.
According to the FT, Google will offer subscriptions as well as free unlimited listening. Though you will have to put up with ads if you don't want to pay, just like on Spotify.
Why would Google go into unchartered territory then? Especially seeing as its Play Music service, which launched in 2011 as Google Music, is only available in the US and a handful of European countries. Well it's another way for Google to make money, seeing as at the moment 95 per cent of its revenues come from advertising. Streaming is big business, being one of the fastest growing areas of the music market.
Apple is also rumoured to be working on a streaming service, which would put it and Google in direct competition on yet another front. As if the smart phone war wasn't already bloody enough.
Google could preinstall the service on all Android devices. And seeing as the operating system is on three out of four smart phones, that should give Google quite some reach. Not that it wouldn't be short of competition though. I'm sure Spotify and its good buddy Facebook wouldn't be too happy about the Google boys crashing their party. The music industry is also no fan of Google -- just this week, the Recording Industry Association of America attacked the search giant for linking to pirate sites. It claimed Google had gone back on its promise to shunt such sites further down its search rankings.