Google Debuts New Android-Focused Music Download Store

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Google yesterday officially unveiled its full Google Music service, including a music download store offering a number of the same features as Apple's iTunes Store. The new Google Music store arrives as part of the Android Market and seems designed to attract users to the Android platform by offering an alternative to Apple's iTunes ecosystem. Like the iTunes Store, Google Music offers per-track pricing typically ranging from $0.69-$1.29, with over 13 million tracks available for purchase.

The store offers more than 13 million tracks from artists on Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI, and the global independent rights agency Merlin as well as over 1,000 prominent independent labels including Merge Records, Warp Records, Matador Records, XL Recordings and Naxos. We’ve also partnered with the world's largest digital distributors of independent music including IODA, INgrooves, The Orchard and Believe Digital.

You can purchase individual songs or entire albums right from your computer or your Android device and they’ll be added instantly to your Google Music library, and accessible anywhere.

Google Music also includes some of the same cloud-based services offered by Apple as part of iCloud and iTunes Match, features that Google rolled out in beta form earlier this year without the support of its own music store. With Google Music, all music purchases from the market are stored online, with users also able to upload up to 20,000 of their own tracks for free.


The company is also integrating the new music service with its Google+ social networking platform, allowing users to post individual tracks to their Google+ pages where friends can take advantage of a one-time free stream of each track.

Google is also rolling out an "artist hub" feature, which allows any signed or unsigned artist with distribution rights for their material to create a dedicated Google Music page for a one-time $25 fee. Artists can use their pages to share information and sell their music, with artists able to set their own pricing and receiving 70% of revenue.

One missing piece for Google is Warner Music Group, one of the four major music labels in the United States and which has yet to reach an agreement to have its content distributed through the store. Warner, which is said to still be in talks with Google, is the third-largest record label and holds approximately 20% of the market.

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Top Rated Comments

Mr Fusion Avatar
163 months ago
Though it's not complete without Warner Bros, competition with iTunes = good. :)
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mattsasa Avatar
163 months ago
So am I understanding right.

You can upload your own music (up to 20k songs) and google will store them, and steam them to any computer or android device, and you can redownload them to any device at any time. All of this for free? No Ads?
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
voonyx Avatar
163 months ago
Google Music is great. Even though it took forever to upload all my songs, once I was done, I couldn't imagine it any other way. Storage for 20,000 songs for free? Who wouldn't want that?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ChazUK Avatar
163 months ago
Apple, 2008:
http://www.tuaw.com/2008/07/14/tuaw-review-mobileme/

BBC Weather, 1970's.

Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
X5-452 Avatar
163 months ago
Good. With Apple, you pay $25 to have to upload the majority of your music collection. With Google, you pay nothing to have to upload all of your music collection. I guess we'll see which one wins. On the premise that the Android has twice the base of iOS, I'll say Google "wins" this one (while directly earning no money).

I do find it most interesting how Apple had to get in bed and pay the music labels while Google bypassed them and still got their blessing (sans Warner Bros).


There are some clear distinctions you're missing though. For one, with iTunes Match you don't upload the "majority" of your library. The majority is paired with content from the iTunes music store and then you are able to re-download at DRM free 256 kbps AAC files. Google Music, on the other hand, does not pair and match anything. You are required to upload the contents of your library, which can be quite time consuming.

I don't think Apple really had to go to bed with the labels anyway. I think they mainly had to convince them that by offering iTunes Match they would not stealing even more power from them. Further to that thought, the biggest concern for the labels was that people would have legal access to copyright material, even if they had never acquired the original file via legitimate means. You're also fooling yourself if you think Google bypassed everyone. Services like these do not exist unless there have been lengthy discussions with the copyright holders.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
motoracer1486 Avatar
163 months ago
Other than the search engine, I haven't seen anything great from Google.

You need to start looking with your eyes open then.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)