Digital Top Stories

Google considered Spotify acquisition as part of music plans

By | Published on Friday 17 December 2010

Google was close to buying either Spotify or Rhapsody recently, according to US website Business Insider, but internal politics at the web giant stopped any deals from progressing.

The website says Google was toying with the idea of having an unlimited streaming offer as part of its much mooted new music service, and was attracted to the idea of buying an existing player in this space, with both Europe’s Spotify and the American-based former Real Networks division Rhapsody obvious targets. But, Business Insider says, various departments within Google wanted ownership of the proposed streaming music service, and political infighting between these departments stopped any serious negotiations with Spotify or Rhapsody from progressing.

As a result, the Insider adds, Google has put any plans for streaming music on hold and is focusing all its efforts on its bid to enter the digital locker market, enabling people to upload their music collections to a Google server and to stream them via any web connected device. It’s been known this is at the heart of Google’s music ambitions for some time.

Many label execs are nervous about the growth of the digital locker market, because it offers more functionality for those who acquired their large MP3 collections illegally, and possibly further aids illegal file-sharing. But the Insider says Google are very keen to launch a music service around this model, and may write some very large cheques to get the majors on board.