Google Launches Google Music
We’ve been following the impending announcement of Google Music along with everyone else. Today was the day and sure enough Google Music is the iTunes competitor we expected and it comes with not one, but three major labels: Sony, EMI, and Universal. Google Music doesn’t look completely like most of us probably expected. For one thing, Google’s new music store doesn’t build on the Google Music beta so much as complement it. Instead, Google is selling music through the Android Market. The old Google Music isn’t going away, but it is coming out of beta so that everyone can start uploading and streaming their favorite 20,000 songs for free. Tracks purchased in the Android Market are automatically stored in Google Music.
Ahead of the announcement, there were a lot of expectations about a social tie-in for Google Music. The music sharing being made available with Google+ sounds to be pretty limited. The more exciting news might be the Artist Hub which allows musicians to upload and sell their music without a label. Amazon is do something similar with authors and it’s causing the publishers all sorts of consternation. I wouldn’t be too surprised if Google’s new music label partners don’t end up similarly agitated someday soon if Google Music takes off.
Artists can build their own artist pages, upload original content, and set their own prices, with Google giving artists 70 percent of sales revenue. (We sure hope Google has a top-notch accounting department for as many individual artist accounts they’re about to start managing!) Musicians who want to participate in the Artist Hub are required to pay a one-time registration fee, but won’t have to pay annual or upload fees after that.