Google is hatching plans for an online music store moving the company into direct competition with Amazon and Apple in the digital music space.

The company’s rumoured new store would provide both conventional MP3 music for download and streaming services to play music direct to devices.

According to music industry sources, quoted by the New York Times, the store could be open for business in a matter of weeks, although the company may need more time to secure deals with recording labels and music publishers.

It is also rumoured that the store will be connected to Music Beta, the service Google launched in May this year, which allows US-based users to back up music online, which can be streamed to personal devices, such as laptops, PCs, mobile phones and tablets.

The search giant declined to comment at this stage but, given the strong rumours, Google’s growing appetite for expansion beyond search, the company launched Google Flights last month for example, and its existing music service, the speculation seems well placed.

There is significant potential to leverage Google’s other services, and Google+ in particular, for a more connected online music experience.

Google’s entry to the online music scene will put pressure on giants Apple and Amazon and smaller streaming-services like Spotify that are already enjoying success in the market. Yet, at the same time, with these companies well placed and performing well, there will be pressure on the music store to avoid joining Google TV amongst the list of Google flops.