Dear Fellow Audiofanziners!
http://tech.lifegoesstrong.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/reg/article_media/11_11-17_google_music_screen.jpgI hope you don't mistake my weekly editorial for the Google news RSS feed, but well, back to back service launches by Google force me to address them! So this week Google finally launched Google Music in the USA. In short, you can now browse Google's 8 million song catalogue and purchase online digital music. Google is directly competing now with iTunes (no software to install!), Amazon and others. The cloud storage and playback part of the service is free. And Google Music is integrated with Google+ so you can share your songs.
Unfortunately, living outside the USA I am unable to test this service. So I leave it to you to judge for yourself. The question remains why does Google want to go into music? An interesting article noted that:
- Music can now be delivered by apps, which can be shared on online social networks. So who needs iTunes?
- Google realized that Apple had it right to be like an octopus with its tentacles in many businesses.
- Google Music makes Google+ more attractive.
- And who can forget a little thing that Google happens to have in its pocket- YouTube, the biggest free music site. I can just see all those 'buy this song at Google Music' links sprouting up everywhere.
The service has its pros and cons that I will not get into, except to mention the best feature IMO: The Artist Hub. Here upcoming musicians and bands can upload and sell their music. No need for record labels, by-pass the publishing middleman by becoming your own music publisher. Charge what you want, share it, sell it. Google takes a 30% cut, like iTunes.
Google has delivered a punch to record labels, iTunes, Amazon, and others. I likey likey a little healthy competition.