It seems that the Christmas holidays are going to be great for consumers. Rumors are swirling that Google is in talks with music labels on plans for a download store and a digital song locker that would allow its mobile users (Android platform) to play songs wherever they are. Google’s Andy Rubin, VP of engineering and the man who oversees Android development, has been in deep talks with record labels and hopes to have the service ready for a holiday-season launch. This would be a welcome present under the tree for consumers, seeing the search giant finally launch its new music download service hitting Apple iTunes right where it counts.
Google’s service would be iTunes largest competitor and would integrate deep into the Android mobile operating system. As the battle for control over the mobile phone and the computer desktop reaches fever pitch, the music industry hopes to benefit. As Apple and Google go toe-to-toe in a wide range of media and consumer technology (including online tv, and movies, mobile phones, software, advertising, etc.). Competition would be more than welcome by the music industry, because Apple’s 7-year dominance through the iTunes Music Store accounts for 70 percent of all U.S. digital music sales, according to the Reuters report.
It seems that Google’s plan has 3 steps:
Step 1 – launch a music download service
Step 2 – mature into an online subscription service
Step 3- take ‘Google Music’ to the clouds, being a cloud-based subscription service with the ability to stream directly to Android mobile devices
This news coupled with users’ reactions to the new iTunes 10 and built-in music social network Ping being lackluster at best, Apple seems to have a serious chink in its armor. If Google can create a music downloading system and include some of the mobile-desktop syncing features we saw at Google I/O this year, that could be the killer app for the Android to challenge Apple’s iPhone. When it’s all said and done, this is Apple + Google’s party, and no one else is invited. The two gargantuan bullies are going to slug it out until someone is first. And while the bottom line of second place will still look pretty sweet, second place is the first loser for those kind of egos.
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