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Google not ruling out music rental option

Google not ruling out music rental option
Google is leaving the door open to launch a subscription model

The new Google Play Music service could be joined by a subscription music service in the future.

Speaking to journalists at the launch of Android 4.2 and about the option to buy music in the UK, Sami Valkonen, Google's head of music licensing told TechRadar the company decided to offer paid-for songs before any other option:

"The service we're launched on 13 November is an ownership model. We see both ownership and rental (the subscription model) as both very viable. Some people would rather not have the recurring charge and want to own and listen to that.

"Then there's another segment that wants access to everything. However, today the ownership model is still dominant which is why we went there first, still by far the bulk of the business."

Scan… and match!

Valkonen was speaking at the launch of Google's Scan and Match service, which is the first to offer 20,000 songs stored in the cloud at a high bitrate.

He was keen to stress that Google has no concrete plans to launch a subscription model as well as the new portal, but made it clear the door is open for such an idea in the future:

"We have a new business mode, the scan and match locker is free to consumers. It's taken a while for everyone to get comfortable with that approach, but we're pleased and must tip our hat to the various societies, music publishers and labels to have the courage to walk with us on this.

"We always look at new things, we've seen how the [music purchasing] market has evolved; today we're announcing Google Play Music as it is, but all of our products evolve, we continue to innovate and in different directions – we're not closing the door on anything."

Gareth Beavis

Global Editor-in-Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.