Google Inc., the world’s largest internet search company, launched its digital music warehouse at an event in Los Angeles on Wednesday. The music warehouse is a lot more than just a store and this move is supposedly meant to send signals to set up competition with Apple Inc. iTunes store. In addition to the Market launch, Google also opened its earlier limited app – Music Beta for the US public with a store added on for free by a new name called Google Music.
The service update integrates a music section into Google’s Android Market that is Google’s media hub for Android devices. Users can now purchase songs from Android Market using Google Music app and stream them wirelessly to their Android phones and tablets. You can store up to 20,000 music tracks in your library. Google has tied up partnerships with 1000 record labels that include Vivendi SA (VIV) Universal Music Group, Sony Corp (6758)’s music unit and EMI Group Ltd with an offer of 13 million songs. In a move to promote its Android smartphone OS and marketplace Google has integrated the music store into its newly launched social network Google Plus. Users can purchase a song from Android Market and share the song within their stream of updates on Google Plus. Thus the user’s friends can listen to the entire track once for free.
Earlier Google had had faced complaints from app developers and media providers about not being discoverable inside Google’s store. In order to suppress discovery problems music interface menus will feature recommendations based on music library of the user. The company will launch a series of Google music exclusive tracks including live sets from Rolling Stones, Coldplay and Busta Rhymes. Users can get 90-second preview of songs before they buy, band information and exclusive contents from a list of artists. Artists are allowed to create pages to display videos, bios and self-published music. Users will receive 70% of sales and can set pricing.
Google’s music store ensures that customers purchase their music legally. Some songs are free while others cost 69 cents to 1.29$. The service works closely with T-Mobile USA Inc. letting carrier customers pay for their tracks on their phone bills. It also decreases music company’s reliance on iTunes, the leading seller of digital songs. However Warner Music Group whose artists include Green Day and Madonna still hasn’t reached an agreement with Google because of pricing and piracy concerns.
Both Google and Apple face close competition from Facebook. The social media giant recently included partnerships with music services like Spotify, Rdio and Mog so that users were able to share tracks that they are listening to with their facebook friends. Thus Google has multipronged its approach by integrating music with its fledgling social network, coupled with the leverage that it has over 200 million Android activated devices available platform-wise, all tied into its app that remains free.