Google didn’t roll out a new online music store as some Internet users expected, but the No. 1 search engine has launched a new music search feature that will allow listeners to sample music and find information about songs.
The new service does allow listeners to stream millions of songs, and there is an option for music rental or purchase through several different music outlets. If Google launched a traditional music store, according to some Internet users, it was expected to immediately compete with the Apple iTunes music service.
However, Google last week issued a statement saying it wasn’t worth the trouble trying to compete with iTunes, Amazon.com, and other companies involved in selling music.
iTunes controled 69% of digital music tracks during the first six months of 2009, and will still have dominant control of the music industry, but Google could put added pressure on the service.
Google has deals arranged with Sony, Universal, EMI, Warner Bros, Pandora, Rhapsody, Imeem and Lala so far. Additional licensing agreements are expected in the future, which will broaden Google’s reach in the music industry.
Google officials said that only sites that have active licensing deals with record studios will be shown to Google visitors. The music industry is looking forward to more users becoming familiar with the Google service, as it will help funnel music listeners to approved music services — not to unauthorized music files — which has been a constant issue for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Are you interested in using a service such as Google’s new music offering?