Google Music Store Nov16

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Google Music Store

Looking to extend its reach as a hub for entertainment and social networking, Google on Wednesday introduced a set of music features that include a download store to compete with iTunes.

The service, Google Music, will sell individual tracks as well as full albums, letting customers store the files in “cloud” accounts. Through an integration with Google’s nascent social network, Google+, the company will also let customers share music by offering friends one free chance to listen to any purchased track.

By offering a music store that has sharing capabilities, Google is directly competing with Apple, Amazon and Facebook. Media and technology analysts saw Google’s announcement as part of an escalating battle among those companies to develop wide-reaching consumer environments.

“They’ve got to make their ecosystem appeal to consumers in a way that Amazon and Apple have,” said Michael Gartenberg, a media analyst with Gartner. “Personal cloud services are what’s going to drive the next wave of consumer adoption. So Google has to be playing here. But because they’re so late they have to be playing here in a unique way.”

Google’s service will sell music through its Android Market, the marketplace where users of its mobile phone system buy apps, videos and e-books.

Google Music will have 13 million songs for sale, the company said in a presentation that was broadcast over YouTube from a Los Angeles art studio. But while the service will have music from three of the four major record companies as well as many independents, Google has so far been unable to reach a licensing agreement with the Warner Music Group, the third-largest major, with artists like Green Day, Neil Young and Led Zeppelin.

via Google Opens a Digital Music Store – NYTimes.com.

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