So, the question is: who's not in the music business these days? Apple
has their iTunes Music Store and just recently acquired the LaLa
streaming service, and HP
just shelled out around $30 million to
purchase a music streaming site of their own. Microsoft has their Zune
subscription service, and then there's Rhapsody, Napster
and a whole
host of smaller alternatives. No matter where you look, there's plenty
of options for digital music lovers to get a hold of new tunes.
With that said, one has to wonder if the market really has room for
another player. But when your name is Google, the market tends to make
room no matter what. While Google entered a particularly uncrowded
smartphone OS market with Android, reports are flying that the search
company may enter a very crowded music service market in the near term.
Reportedly, unnamed sources have it on good authority that Google
be soon revealing a "Google-branded music play."
There's no real details yet on what exactly the service would be like.
Will it stream? Or will it be an iTunes-like store? Subscription based?
Or pay-per-song/album? No one on the outside really knows, but people
are already buzzing about what may soon be a reality. Greg Sterling,
principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, said the following:
"Google is doing this because it has relationships with music labels --
via Vevo -- and because 'it can,' but mainly because of Android. The
music experience on Android handsets is far inferior to the iPhone
and iTunes, and Google sees this as an opportunity to rectify a
It's true that Android has no "home" media system, but that's one of the
reasons we love it. Users can select their own software to manage
music, or just choose not to manage it at all by simply dragging and
dropping files as they see fit. Apple forces iTunes onto their iPhone
users, and we aren't at all convinced that that's the best approach.
We'll have to wait and see if this really pans out, but it's definitely
believable. And usually, when Google touches something, it tends to turn
out well. We sure hope so; iTunes needs a major competitor in the worst