Google Inc. upended the Internet with its search engine.
It launched its own email service, made roads and highways easier to navigate, developed the world's most popular operating system for mobile devices and took a shot at Apple Inc.'s iTunes with its own Google Play store.
Now the technology giant is cranking up the volume with the debut of a subscription music service that provides access to millions of songs for a monthly fee, taking on the likes of Spotify and Pandora and going after the next big wave in digital music: streaming on mobile devices.
Analysts said Google All Access, which was unveiled Wednesday, was a preemptive launch ahead of Apple, which is expected to announce its own service next month.
Google has stepped up its efforts to ensure that Google is on every screen and on every device so online advertisers can reach those consumers wherever they are and regardless of what they are doing.
With music on mobile devices exploding, it was crucial for Google to have its own streaming service to keep users tethered to Google services and Android mobile devices.
That gave the Mountain View, Calif., company the motivation to clinch deals with all the major record labels as well as independents, signaling a sea change in its sometimes troubled relationship with an entertainment industry that in the past had accused Google of not doing enough to combat Internet piracy.
"It makes a huge statement that they've recognized the value of content," said music industry veteran Ted Cohen. "They're recognizing the value of what people create, and they're asking people to pay for it."
Google introduced the new music subscription service at its annual developers conference Wednesday, while unveiling a host of other product upgrades such as a new version of Google Maps.
All Access builds upon Google's other music offerings, which include a download store and a cloud-based "locker" for keeping personal music collections.
The new feature lets users search for songs, albums or artists or different genres and subgenres. It will offer recommendations based on the user's listening habits and personal library of songs.
Subscribers also can listen to music in a "radio" format like Pandora, picking and choosing the playing order, or sample playlists created by music curators.
Chris Yerga, engineering director for Android, described the new service as "radio without rules."
"This is as lean-back as you want or as interactive as you want," he said.
For the music industry, subscription services represent a much-needed new source of revenue.
For the moment, they are a small but fast-growing part of the music industry, contributing about 15% of total revenue in the U.S. last year, according to the Recording Industry Assn. of America.
It's an idea that has been a long time coming: The pioneering Bay Area start-up Listen.com launched the Rhapsody music subscription service in 2001.
The idea began gaining traction with consumers with the advent of smartphones and high-speed mobile networks.