After a long, heavily-rumored lead-up and beta period stretching back to Google I/O in May, Google Music is now official with the support of several top-tier and independent labels, social integration by way of Google+, and free, open sign-up for everyone in the US.
May 14, 2013
Google will unveil new subscription music services tomorrow at the Google I/O conference, sources close to the company said. Google has now signed separate licensing deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment for both YouTube and Google Play, setting the stage for such an announcement, music industry sources told The Verge.Read Article >
Google comes to these negotiations as a powerful player in music. While Google Play is still a relatively new service, insiders say YouTube is a juggernaut. The user-generated video site sees more than 800 million unique visitors a month and music videos are among the most popular fare.
Feb 23, 2013
Google has spoken to some of the top music-recording companies about creating a subscription music service similar to Rdio and Spotify, but music industry sources have told The Verge that any launch of such a service is still months away.Read Article >
Google has specifically talked about a launch of a streaming music service in the third quarter, the sources said today. The Financial Times reported earlier in the day that the launch is "impending."
May 4, 2012Read Article >
One of the main differentiators of Google Music is its sharing functionality: if a friend of yours shares a song on Google+, you get a free listen of the entire track. Now those tracks are being collected in a single place with the addition of an automatic playlist called "Shared with me." Google likens this feature to an email inbox, and that doesn't seem too far off the mark — there's a counter of songs that you haven't yet listened to, and those new tunes appear bolded in the playlist. Of course, there's also a link to buy the song directly if the single listen doesn't whet your appetite. The feature, like Google Music itself, is currently only available in the US.
Nov 18, 2011
One day after announcing Google Music, the company is rolling out a fresh new Google Music app for Google TV. The app streams music directly from your library stored in the cloud and integrates deeply enough into the Google TV system to play in the background and allow you to set up a playlist to serve as a soundtrack to a photo slideshow. Google has promised "future updates" to the music app as well.Read Article >
Google Music is available now via the Android Market on Google TV, assuming you've installed the Android 3.1 update that brought apps to the platform and signed up for the service on your computer. The app helps Google TV compete with the just released iTunes Match service now available on Apple TV, but obviously we will have to wait and see if this feature-parity checkbox is going to be enough to get Logitech to get off the sidelines for future Google TV products.
Nov 16, 2011
Google Music shed its beta label today, and we got a chance to play with the service — once we bought some new Busta Rhymes jams, we checked out the updated Android and web apps. The most noticeable thing about the Android app is that it's a much faster, more stable application, with a lot more content displayed on the screen at once. It got a new, swipe-friendly look, which should be nicely at home on Ice Cream Sandwich. There's a new layout in landscape mode, which shows album art as you browse your music. Weirdly, you can't buy music from within the Music app — you have to go to the Android Market and shop there, though your purchases do automatically show up in the Music app. It's also really easy to pin songs or albums to make them available offline.Read Article >
The web app didn't get much of an interface change, which is a shame — we've never been a fan of the Google Music UI. There are plenty of new sharing features, though, letting you share a song with your Google+ circles; when you share a song, your followers can listen to the whole song once.
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No surprise, Google Music is getting deep Google+ integration. For any songs that you purchase, you'll be able to share with friends or circles on Google+. In order to help drive additional purchases, Google will let any friends that you share with listen to the entire song, instead of the initial 90 seconds, for free. From within the Google Music interface, simply click the down arrow near the end of each song title, select share, and a Google+ overlay will appear on screen for sharing with your friends or circles. It's similar to Apple's Ping, but hooked into Google's own social network.
As rumored, Google Music launched its music store today with a range of new content partnerships, letting users buy millions of songs from the Google Marketplace. Sony Music Entertainment, Universal and its subsidiary EMI are launching with the revised service, bringing along their formidable music archives — notably missing, though, is Warner. There's also a host of independent labels on board, giving Google Music a total of 13 million tracks; 8 million of those are live today, with the rest coming soon.Read Article >
Google's also working with the Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Busta Rhymes, Shakira, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band and other artists to offer exclusive content, like six never-before-released concerts from the Rolling Stones. Busta Rhymes also released his latest album, "Why Stop Now," today exclusively on Google Music. It's part of a big artist-focused strategy for Google, and the company says it will be adding many more partners in the coming months.
Nov 16, 2011
Google today dropped the "beta" moniker off Google Music, and with that, it's announced a music store baked into Android Market, much like it has previously done with books. Google Music is available to anyone in the US, no invitation required, and has the ability to upload up to 20,000 songs to the cloud for free. There will be an app for Windows, Mac, and Linux devices that'll help you upload songs to your locker. Those can be streamed via the cloud or alternatively you'll be able to "pin" songs for offline listening.Read Article >
The big news, of course, is the Android Market music store. Millions of song will be available and sortable by genre, sub genre, top albums, and top songs. There are Staff Picks and a New Releases section — standard stuff. Songs look to be in the range of $0.99 and $1.29. Every song is 320kbps MP3, with 90 second previews for each song. There's universal search in the market. Tracks will appear instantly in your Music Library in the browser as well as Music Manager.
Nov 16, 2011Read Article >
What with all the leaked screenshots, code snippets and whispers on the wind, we've got a pretty good idea of what to expect: Today, Google's almost certainly going to formally unveil its digital music store, and we're here in Los Angeles live blogging the whole event. At 2PM local time (that's 5PM ET!) you'll find out whether the likes of Sony, EMI and Universal truly did sign their music to Google's service, and whether it'll cost $0.99 to $1.29 per track. Oh, and don't forget the "twist" Andy Rubin promised, whatever that might be!
Nov 15, 2011
We'll know for sure tomorrow, but we're seeing more and more signs that Google will announce a full-fledged music store at its "These Go To Eleven" event. The latest comes from Businessweek, which claims Google is close to a deal with Universal Music Group to sell music through its store. Google is claimed to already have EMI wrapped up; Universal would give it the two of the coveted "big four" music labels (which are in the process of becoming the "big three," with Universal buying EMI earlier this week).Read Article >
Adding a music store to its existing movie, book, and app stores would position Google to compete even more directly with iTunes and Amazon; it would also give Android another feature to check off in comparison with iOS. The music store and Google's free cloud-based storage system could be a strong iTunes alternative, especially if Google manages to include social integration in a way Apple hasn't. One thing Google reportedly doesn't have yet, however, is the buy-in from Sony and Warner, the other two biggest music labels. Until that happens, iTunes should be able to beat Google in available songs, at the least. We'll be at the event tomorrow, so be sure to check out our live coverage to find out exactly how this shakes down.
Nov 14, 2011
The Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich are nearly upon us, and one feature that's widely expected to be introduced alongside their release is a Google Music store. The current beta of Google Music functions mostly as a dumb music locker in the cloud, but there's already been evidence that Google's planning to expand its functionality and turn it into an actual store. This weekend has seen more kindling added to that fire with a set of purported screenshots from that very Google Music store.Read Article >
Claimed to have been obtained using an HTC Inspire 4G over in Venezuela, these screen grabs provide a hint of what the eventual store experience might be like. The most apparent highlight is a "Free Song of the Day" spot that does what its name commands, while there's also mention of Android Market and Google Music working "hand-in-hand," most likely referring to the purchase of music. So the way things are shaping up, the Android Market looks likely to go the way of iTunes in being the place to get both your apps and music. Per-track pricing varies, with $1.29 and $0.99 prices visible, and full album cost will also depend on popularity, it seems. The ability to purchase anything hasn't yet been enabled, we're told, but Google's "These Go to Eleven" event on the 16th will very likely flip that switch while filling in any remaining gaps in our knowledge.
Nov 11, 2011Read Article >
We just got word from that Google is holding an event on November 16th, and our sources tell us it's going to be for Google Music. The email came from Spinal Tap's Nigel Tufnel, in case the event's 'These Go to Eleven' name wasn't obvious. No word yet on what will be announced, but we expect to see music purchasing added to the service as well as new Google+ sharing service following a glimpse in October of an HTML5-powered music player. We'll be covering the event live at 2pm PST.
Oct 27, 2011
Up until just a few minutes ago, if you fired up your Android browser and paid a visit to music.google.com, you would have been greeted with a new and intriguing message that implies that Google is indeed about to launch a full-fledged music store, as promised:Read Article >
The information apparently appeared by mistake as Google has already removed the references to the store. It appeared as an overlay on top of Google's HTML5 music player, which was developed in part so Google's Music Beta could be used on IOS. In fact we were able to get the message to show up on both Android and iOS. The page appears with two links. The first points to Google's current Music Beta page, where users can upload music to an online storage locker. The second redirects Android users go Google Music on Android Market.
Oct 22, 2011
After hearing Andy Rubin promise that the upcoming Google Music service will "have a little twist," most of the rumors about it have focused on what might be Google's biggest priority right now, Google+. So it's not surprising that today we have a trio of stories suggesting exactly the kind of Google+ integration we were expecting. According to their sources, the new service will allow users to recommend songs purchased from Google Music on Google+ to friends, who will be able to listen to the songs for free — though probably only once.Read Article >
Google Music is rumored to be launching within a matter of days or weeks, though it's not clear if all the big record labels will allow their libraries to work with the sharing feature. Google was widely rumored to have failed in earlier negotiations with the record labels, resulting in a more limited feature set on the existing Google Music Beta. The Beta is currently just a music uploading service, where users can put their own music in a locker in the cloud for later streaming. We are also expecting big changes to the Android Google Music app on Ice Cream Sandwich, so it's probably a safe bet that it will also include ways to share directly on Google+ from within the app.
Oct 21, 2011
Google's attempt to compete in the music sales business fell short of expectations when it launched the cloud-only Music Beta without support from the record labels, but Android head Andy Rubin expressed confidence that Google is getting close, in his remarks at the AsiaD conference in Hong Kong. Rubin says that Google's version "will have a little twist" and that "it won't just be selling 99-cent tracks." Google is trailing Apple and Amazon, which already sell music and offer cloud music lockers.Read Article >
Google has accused the labels of being unreasonable in the past, but Rubin is taking a more diplomatic approach this time around — he says that Google has been misunderstood as just a search company (they're much more than that now). Still, as the Wall Street Journal reported, it doesn't sound like any of the major labels are close to striking a deal except for EMI Group, the smallest of the bunch. Hopefully that means Google's twist — whatever it is — is big enough for consumers to make the record companies uncomfortable. Apple and Amazon are waiting.
Oct 13, 2011Read Article >
If Google is really hoping to catch up to its competitors, the ideal time to launch a new music service would be very soon. iTunes Match will go live later this month and Google and Samsung will be unveiling Ice Cream Sandwich on October 19th.