Google's music service plans are crystallizing in talks with music labels on plans for a download store and a digital song locker to challenge Apple iTunes in the digital music market.
Google signaled its intent to go after Apple's iTunes
dynasty in May when it quietly revealed
it had acquired Simplify Media to add for Android smartphones.
provides an efficient way for users to take music they own on
their desktop that isn't copy-protected and stream it to an Android
phone. Since that curious announcement at Google I/O, the talk of
Google's music plans has subsided.
Now it seems Google's music plans are crystallizing in talks with
music labels on plans for a download store and a digital song locker that would
allow its mobile users to grab and play songs from the cloud, according to Reuters
On Google's part, the talks are being shepherded by
Google Android creator and vice president of engineering Andy Rubin. The idea
is to have a Google Android music service to offer users in time for this
Record label executives are reportedly excited about the
potential for this offering, which was previewed by The Wall Street Journal in
June. The Journal then also reported
Google would launch an online music subscription service in early
Google didn't confirm the news, but didn't deny it either, telling eWEEK: "We don't have anything to announce at this time," a sure sign that plans are in motion.
The move would open yet another battlefield between
Google and Apple, once fast friends that are increasingly competing for users'
eyeballs and dollars in every segment of the Web.
While the two companies primarily compete today in the
smartphone market, with the Android OS pumped out in 200,000 devices daily as
an alternative to Apple's iPhone, the companies will also soon compete in digital
Apple just revamped
its Apple TV product, lowering the price for the box that serves
digital TV for subscribers. Google is launching
Google TV this fall, affirmed
Google CEO Eric Schmidt at the IFA show in Berlin.
The current signs point to Google aiming to also compete
with Apple in music, which appears as difficult as Microsoft's Bing trying to
compete with Google in search.