Reuters reports that Google is in talks with record labels to decide how a music service from the company would work and that something is hoped to be launched by Christmas this year.
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The report says that Google is yet to actually strike up any licensing deals with major labels, but that labels are reportedly “excited” about the prospect of a significant competitor to Apple’s iTunes in the music sector. While Apple kickstarted the mainstream digital music market, labels are reportedly wary of iTunes holding too much of a dominant postion.
With Google moving into TV and music, it is expanding beyond its roots as a technology and advertising company to be a media distributor in its own right. “We’re cautiously optimistic because Google has great scale and reach but doesn’t have a track record in selling stuff”, one music industry source told Reuters. Given the shaky reputation of the Android Market to date, and a quickly-shelved direct phone sales business, this is an area that may well be a valid concern.
Regardless of the business realities, we’re excited to see what Google’s music solution looks like and how it integrates with its web, mobile and TV outlets.
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