Google to launch Spotify-like streaming service tomorrow with at least three majors signed up

In March, Fortune reported that Google had signed up Warner Music for an online music service similar but not identical to the popular Spotify service. Today, Greg Sandoval at The Verge is reporting that Universal and Sony Music have also signed on and the service will be launched tomorrow at Google I/O:

When Google rolls out the new services tomorrow at I/O, it will mean that it gets the jump on Apple, which is also trying to launch a new streaming-music service. According to reports, Google’s subscription services would resemble Spotify, and offer on-demand songs that would be streamed to their PCs and mobile devices. In contrast, Apple is working on an online radio service that is said to be more akin to Pandora, the top webcaster.

Google comes to these negotiations as a powerful player in music. While Google Play is still a relatively new service, insiders say YouTube is a juggernaut. The user-generated video site sees more than 800 million unique visitors a month and music videos are among the most popular fare.

I may not have exotic taste in music but I’ve never not been able to find whatever I want to listen to on YouTube. Google already owns the space and an advertising-based version of YouTube streaming is just a GUI change in my book. Read more

Google looking to make strategic $50M investment in Vevo to keep its high-quality music content on YouTube

Two weeks ago, we heard Google planned to invest in Vevo. Today, those rumors heat up with some specifics…

Bloomberg has the story:

Google Inc.’s YouTube is negotiating a $50 million equity investment in music video service Vevo LLC, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.
Google would own less than 10 percent of the company, giving Vevo a valuation of at least $500 million, said the people, who asked for anonymity because negotiations are still early and an agreement may not be reached.
The investment would be part of a broader contract to keep Vevo’s music videos on YouTube, the people said. Vevo, formed in 2009 by Vivendi SA’s Universal Music and Sony Corp.’s Sony Music Entertainment, and Google last year extended their existing contract until April.

Some of the most valuable (and clicked) content on YouTube is from Vevo-associated Artists. Vevo previously threatened to leave YouTube, so the investment would be to secure long-term access to the content advertised on and monetized by affiliate links to buy music.

It is also important to Google’s ecosystem to have easy and cheap access to all of Vevo’s content.

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