With its SVP of Mobile Andy Rubin already declaring that Google would look to release its new Music Store “soon” and launching “with a twist”, new details have emerged suggesting that the search giant will look to tightly integrated with the company’s social networking service Google+, the Wall Street Journal reports.
According to the report, Google is readying the service with a view to launching it in the next two weeks, allowing users to recommend tracks in their online music library to their Google+ contacts, who would then be able to listen to the track once for free before being asked to pay for the MP3 download, which is thought to be priced around the industry standard 99 cents.
Whist Google already offers very limited music downloads via one of its Google Music blogs, also providing beta users with 20GB of free storage for their MP3 catalog in the Cloud via its Google Music locker service, the company has said to have been working hard to secure licensing deals with the big four music labels – two of which are said to not have been signed before the service launched in the coming weeks.
As a result, Google’s recommendation features may only be available for tracks that are released by record labels that have already signed a deal with Google for its new service. Both Sony and Warner Music are said to have expressed concerns with Google’s music service, Sony with Google’s acknowledgement of piracy on its YouTube and Android platforms with Warner believing Google’s offering is “inadequate” – bothare unlikely to be on-board before Google’s launch date.
Google’s inclusion of social features would see it compete directly with Facebook for social music, although Facebook doesn’t facilitate its own service. The company recently announced its new social graph implementation, allowing streaming services including Spotify and Deezer to deeply integrate their platforms into the social network to share what its users were listening to, driving music sharing between friends.
New Spotify users are now required to connect their Facebook account in order to use the service, much to the displeasure of some users, with the company also quickly launching a new private listening mode so that users don’t have to share their playlists if they don’t want too.