Google Inc. is in discussions with the major labels about launching an online music streaming service that would position it to compete with Spotify, MOG and others, a person familiar with the matter confirmed.
The labels are in discussions with Google about renewing deals that pay the music companies a fee whenever one of their copyrighted songs is used in a YouTube video, said the person who was not authorized to speak publicly about the negotiations.
As part of these talks, Google is proposing a premium subscription service -- perhaps as soon as the fall of this year. The contemplated new offering was first reported by the Financial Times. A Google spokesman declined comment.
Google Inc.'s YouTube has emerged as a primary destination for young music fans, who come to the site to watch music videos and countless parodies. A popular YouTube video can catapult a song to the top of the music charts, as was the case with the "Harlem Shake," which this propelled little-known Brooklyn DJ Baauer's dance track to the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Hot 100.
Other digital entertainment powerhouses are reportedly poised to enter the streaming music business. The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple Inc., which dominates digital music sales, is in talks with the labels about launching a streaming service.
The Amazon Cloud Player allows users to import their music libraries into its "cloud," and listen to their songs on smartphones and tablets.