Google Could Unveil Its Online Music Service Today
May 10, 2011 at 4:00 AM (PT)
GOOGLE may unveil as early as TODAY (5/10), its online music service. THE WALL STREET JOURNAL reports GOOGLE's offering is "similar to a service recently launched by AMAZON.COM INC., according to people familiar with the matter, a move that escalates the battle to create the next generation of Internet businesses for storing and listening to music."
And like AMAZON, sources say GOOGLE has yet to complete licensing deals with the four major recorded-music companies.
THE JOURNAL writes that "GOOGLE is likely to announce the service TUESDAY at its annual GOOGLE I/O developers conference in SAN FRANCISCO," and adds, "The system GOOGLE is likely to unveil is known within the technology and music industries as a 'passive' locker. Such systems generally are believed by people in the music industry not to require licenses from record companies. But that kind of system also tends to offer a fairly limited set of features. AMAZON CLOUD, for instance, is considered by many in the industry to be a first step toward a more ambitious offering that AMAZON could create once it has licenses in place."
GOOGLE reportedly ran afoul of WARNER MUSIC GROUP last month (NET NEWS 4/25). ALL ACCESS reported that while GOOGLE's technology apparently was working fine, the search giant was rumored to be "disgusted" with the major labels. Most frustrating at the time was WARNER MUSIC GROUP. Those close to the negotiations claim that WMG is committed to a cloud-based strategy, with WMG EVP/Digital Strategy MICHAEL NASH wanting GOOGLE to charge users $30 a year to visit the cloud.