Google said to be working on streaming music service

This is pretty interesting. Hot on the heels of rumors that Apple is looking to get into the streaming music space, a new report popped up late last night alleging that Google too is working on a service of its own.

Citing ‘people familiar with the matter,’ The Wall Street Journal is claiming that the search giant’s Android unit has been negotiating with music companies to start a paid subscription music streaming service…

The WSJ’s Ethan Smith and Amir Efrati with the scoop:

“Google Inc.’s GOOG +0.53% Android unit has been negotiating with music companies to start a paid subscription music-streaming service akin to Spotify AB, according to people familiar with the matter.

Separately, Google’s YouTube video website is trying to obtain licenses from music labels to start a paid subscription service for music videos and potentially also for audio-only songs, these people said.”

The two reporters also reaffirm that Apple is on a similar quest, negotiating with labels in an effort to secure music licenses for a Pandora-like service.

“The music-streaming market is getting more crowded. Apple has been in talks to license music for a custom-radio service similar to the popular one operated byPandora Media Inc., P +2.98% people familiar with the matter have said. “

Apple has long been rumored to be developing a subscription music service, though the latest reports from Bloomberg and The New York Times say that it could finally materialize into something by the end of the year.

This would be yet another area in which Apple and Google would go head-to-head. They already do so in smartphones, tablets, computers, and even in the content space with stores for music, movies, books and apps.

And it’ll be interesting to see who gets there first, and what they bring to the table. You know, the space isn’t exactly empty with long-time players like Spotify, Rdio, and Pandora wielding user bases in the tens of millions.

What could these two tech giants offer that the others can’t? Lower pricing? Better integration into iOS or Android? What do you think?