Now this is just a rumor at this stage, but according to TechCrunch several sources are talking about Google working on launching their own music service, which means that their battle with Apple moves to a new level as they come in direct competition with Apple iTunes Store.
There is not much information available in the rumors around the new service, which for now is referred to as Google Audio, so we don’t know if we are talking about a full on download service or if it is a streaming service similar to the likes of Spotify. The rumors are talking about how Google has been working with the major music labels in securing the necessary content for the service though.
Given the shake-ups there has been in the relationship between Google and Apple recently, with executives leaving each others boardrooms, and Apple declining Google Voice from the iTunes App Store etc. the rumors that Google is preparing a rival music service plays in nicely into what seems to become a growing rivalry in the battle for dominance in the digital marketplace.
One question to raise though, should Google Audio be a reality and operate in the same arena as Spotify, will Google use their muscles to buy out Spotify? There is no doubt that a Google Audio service will have a massive impact on the market potential of Spotify, both in terms of online usage through computers as well as through mobile devices given the growth of Google Android. It could perhaps make sense for Google to make a move towards acquiring Spotify, or they could just deliver a service that is at least as good and use their market power to push their way to the top in that market.
Given Google’s focus on cloud technology and their work on delivering a Google operative system, it is unlikely that they will be delivering any iTunes like application that will run on your computer, but instead create a service where you will be able to stream and/or download music from their online service, either to your computer or to your mobile device through applications.
It does make sense for Google to deliver their own music service, and it will be interesting to see how Google will integrate their other services and expertise in delivering a superior service. Personally I think there are some great opportunities for Google to use their search expertise to deliver high quality music search results and additional services to deliver a new music service in Google Audio.
We will definitely follow these rumors with a lot of interest going forward.