Google is reportedly still working on an online music download service, but the latest details state that the internet giant wants the service to be tightly integrated with the Google search engine.
It’s unknown if consumers are immediately interested in leaving behind iTunes for a possible Google music service, but record labels would welcome the change.
If true, the Google music program would allow the software company to compete with Apple and its iTunes offering.
Details remain sketchy, but Google wants to give music listeners the option to download individual music tracks or have a subscription account. The new service would be tied into the search engine so that when people search for bands and music, they’ll also see results for purchasing the music from the new Google service.
This isn’t the first time Google was rumored to launch a music service, with reports floating around for more than a year. Earlier in June, a report indicated Google wanted to gain marketshare from Apple by taking what it could because MySpace Music, Wal-Mart, Amazon, and others haven’t had high levels of success.
Late last year, there were unconfirmed reports that a “Google Audio” service was in development, but no other information was available. I think a well-planned music offering could be a wise choice for Google, but only if the company takes things step by step and doesn’t try to compete with iTunes overnight.
Google has looked to monetize music and video for a while, but has been unable to secure a major success just yet. iTunes controls around 28 percent of the overall music market, while Amazon and Wal-Mart — the companies that sit No. 2 and No. 3 — each have 12 percent of the music market. Google could carve out its own piece of the market, but may have to take some of it from Amazon and Wal-Mart.
The Google Music streaming features will most likely utilize technology acquired from streaming media firm Simplify Media, which Google purchased in May.
A Google-backed music service would undoubtedly also be tightly integrated with the Google Android mobile OS, leveraging the large base of existing and upcoming Android smartphone owners as potential new customers.