Google bakes music playback shortcuts into Android search

Google has baked streaming music into search, adding links to popular players like Spotify and YouTube for searches involving musicians. The new functionality sees a link added to mobile searches on Android devices in the US, tied into whatever compatible apps are currently loaded on the phone.

So, if you search for Lady Gaga's new track "Do What U Want" for instance, as well as a brief biography of the singer and information pulled from Wikipedia, you might also find some links to Spotify, iHeartRadio, and other services.

Currently, the new search functionality works with Rdio, iHeartRadio, Spotify, TuneIn, YouTube, and Google's own Google Play, and for the moment only those in the US will see the links in-among their results.

However, Google says it's working on expanding it worldwide, and adding in support for other services including location-specific ones; Deezer gets a name-check. Obviously for some services you'll need to have a relevant subscription, but certainly for YouTube, at least, there should be free options to listen to.

That may well change later in the year, however, with Google reportedly readying a subscription-based YouTube music streaming service. Said to go into internal testing at the search company from next week, it will see ad-free playback and offline caching on mobile devices like Android smartphones.