Last October, Google shut down Google Music in China, and today, some nine months later, the company appears to have cut the cord on a similar experimental service that it ran in India.
Though the service is offline, the company has not officially communicated its closure. We’ve reached out to Google to get more details. Medianama reports that the catalog had gotten old of late, showing signs that the service was gathering mothballs and suggesting that this is an all-out switch off rather than an outage.
Update: Google has confirmed the closure with a statement that we’ve included in full at the bottom of this post.
Google launched Music in India in October 2010. Like the Chinese offering, users could search out and stream tracks from a range of partner sites right from the Web-based Google service.
In a world in which music is often licensed to a limited number of streaming services, multi-platform offerings like Google’s are something different in that users can play music from multiple services from just one spot. Ultimately, it looks like there was not enough potential in the business for Google to keep the service — a product of its experimental Labs division — going.
The apparent closure of Google Music India follows the shuttering of Flipkart’s Flyte digital music store in May. Unlike Google Music, Flyte was not free and it charged customers to download DRM-free tracks. However, both may have suffered from increased competition as freemium streaming startups Dhingana, Saavn and Gaana continue to grow both on the Web and via mobile apps.
All three of the aforementioned services offer a free-to-use ad-supported service, alongside a Spotify-style premium monthly subscription that includes offline support and storage on mobile.
Update: A Google spokesperson tells us:
We have decided to shut down our Google Music Search service in India. This is part of an ongoing effort across Google to bring greater focus to our portfolio of products. Our goal is to simplify and improve the Google experience for our users and to devote more resources to high impact products that improve the lives of millions of people. In the case of music, we felt that there are many legal music options for users now featured in Search. Online entertainment will remain an important area for Google in India.
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