business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Financial Times writes about how Google this week is launching a new music service that is designed to compete with what it calls the unhealthy “duopoly” of Apple’s iTuned and Spotify.

According to the story, Google “will promote it with YouTube’s most expensive advertising campaign. The service, called YouTube Music, mimics the Spotify model: there will be a free, ad-supported tier with more limited functions, and a $10 a month subscription without advertisements and with extra functions.”

FT notes that “Google has made previous forays into paid music streaming, such as Google Play, YouTube Key and YouTube Red, but none have proven a big hit and the competing services have confused customers. Meanwhile Spotify and Apple have added tens of millions of paying customers, powering a turnround in fortunes across the music business in recent years … YouTube’s latest push comes as music has become a bigger part of its business. YouTube is the world’s largest video site, and slickly produced videos by pop stars draws billions of views.”
KC's View:
I feel hopelessly anachronistic here, writing this story while listening to a Pandora station. (JJ Grey & Mofro, if you’re interested.)

Be interesting to see how this plays out, because while Google has enormous power, there’s no question that Apple and Spotify has carved out dominant positions that will be hard to compete against.