Google to launch music service

John Moe May 10, 2011

It’s day one of Google’s I/O conference and the company is widely expected to announce a new music service today that could be a complete disaster. Google is launching the thing without record label permission. It’s apparently going to be a lot like Amazon’s cloud music product but with a couple of huge differences. One, you can’t buy music out of it, you can only store your existing music on it. This would seem to be a huge incentive for record labels to squawk about the service since there’s nothing in it for them beyond the music they sold you originally (if, in fact, they sold it to you in the first place). Second difference: scale. Amazon’s music service can store about 1200 songs, Google’s will be able to hold 20,000. You’ll be able to listen on any Android device or Flash enabled device.
The first thing I thought of when I heard they were announcing a big new media product without label permission was: Google TV. That was the venture launched last fall without cable or broadcast channel permission and it kind of crashed and burned because those companies started blocking Google TV.
There are plenty of other things that might get announced at I/O, we’ll keep an eye on it, but that’s likely to be the big one.

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