Google Music is now live to the public, with Google+ integration and a library of 8 million songs (soon to be 13 million) via the Android market. Google’s cloud-based online music store, which was announced as a beta service in May, will compete for digital downloads with Apple’s iTunes and Amazon’s growing library of online music. It also challenges Apple’s music dominance by serving the 200 million estimated Android phone users just in the U.S.
Google commented in a blog post, “Google Music is about discovering, purchasing, sharing and enjoying digital music in new, innovative and personalized ways.” It’s launching with music from Universal Music Group, EMI Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Merlin Network — but no deal has been reached (so far) with Warner Music Group, whose catalog represents about 20% of the world’s music inventory.[more]
Mimicking iTunes pricing, Google Music tracks will sell from about 99 cents each to about $10 for an album, with about 20,000 songs are available for free. Those who buy songs can share them on Google+, while artists are invited to open storefronts for a one-time fee of $25, in addition to selling tracks directly from YouTube.
“I’m so proud of this alliance and this union and just being a part of the most powerful search engine in existence, and the fact that they are making such a conscious effort to provide and facilitate a platform for artists that gives us the empowerment and the strength for being that much more independently driven. It just really does a lot for the faith of the future of the music, not just creatively, but professionally.”