Google Tosses Its Hat into the Home Music Streaming Ring

According to the , Google Inc. may be jumping into the home music streaming business.

There”s still quite a bit of unknown, but reports say that the company is developing a wireless entertainment system that will stream music throughout your home. It will use an Android-based software system to connect components, and will be run through a tablet or smartphone. Content will come from music in the Android market, or through the Google Music app.

Currently, Apple Inc. has the market cornered when it comes to producing both hardware and software. Google has been focused on software, specifically the Android operating system behind phones, tablets, and televisions. It”s possible that Google”s plans to acquire Motorola Mobility could provide an avenue for hardware production. That ability will allow them to offer a complete system, similar to Sonos or Squeezebox.

Competitors are questioning why Google wants into this market. While Sonos recently began offering lower-end systems, whole house streaming audio is typically a pricey venture for consumers. The WSJ article included speculation about potential revenues for Google:

The market for home-audio hardware, including basics like stereos and more advanced gadgets like the Sonos music-streaming system is worth around $8 billion a year, world-wide, according to an estimate from Sonos co-founder Tom Cullen, who adds that his company”s annual sales last year totaled about $200 million. “I”d be stunned if they actually thought it was worth it, because it”s peanuts for them,” Mr. Cullen said. Google generated about $38 billion in revenue last year.

The article went on to say that one person familiar with Google”s plans said the company hopes to increase the size of that market by selling products at lower price points.

There is also talk that Google”s system will eventually offer more than music. According to ZDNet, the company could be planning to create a system that streams video through the Google TV platform, and potentially controls even more of your home, like lights and HVAC systems.

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