Get Ready iTunes, Google Music Is Close
February 1, 2011 at 4:13 AM (PT)
iTUNES rules the digital music store roost, but is getting closer to having serious competition. CNET reports, "GOOGLE is getting closer to debuting a music service, according to multiple music industry sources who spoke to CNET on condition of anonymity."
Reports have GOOGLE MUSIC launching as soon as MARCH.
The BRITISH service SPOTIFY is also close to its U.S. debut. The service signed a deal with SONY a few weeks ago (NET NEWS 1/20), and reportedly is close to a deal with EMI.
But GOOGLE MUSIC is the 800-pound gorilla in the room. Notes CNET, "The top labels haven't seen a player of GOOGLE's stature ride into the sector on the back of a popular consumer-electronic device (ANDROID-powered phones) since APPLE did it with the iPOD. GOOGLE has the kind of marketing muscle and deep pockets to challenge iTUNES' grip on digital music sales. In addition, GOOGLE owns YOUTUBE, which has become one of the most popular music venues online. As a genre, music videos are the most popular fare on the GOOGLE-owned site."
Whether GOOGLE MUSIC really can fly next month is open to debate, with some sources pointing to very complex licensing agreements that have yet to be negotiated, and are expected to "take months rather than weeks" to complete.
"Another holdup is that each record company has a different view of how a cloud music service should work," writes CNET.
GOOGLE MUSIC is a "cloud-based" service, and licenses for such a venture have never been written before. Having all the legalities worked out in such a short amount of time will be difficult.