Google Music Store?

Dave Winer just posted a totally unsubstantiated rumour that Google is going to pull out an iTunes-style music store, complete with RSS. He claims:

[quote]

I’ve been hearing rumors that Google is readying an iTunes-clone, based on RSS 2.0, and fully podcast-capable. Multiple sources on this one.

[/quote]

Winer is a reasonably connected guy, so perhaps there’s a little more guts behind this rumour than most? I guess the RSS feed will be for new tracks. E.g. subscribe to new tracks by genre or artist, so you know when new releases are available to buy?

The big question is will Google go pay-per-song (a-la iTunes), or subscription (a-la Yahoo)? I can’t see Google wanting to get into the whole DRM side of the subscription model (e.g. songs expire if you stop subscribing), so I’m hoping they’ll pull a fast one and undercut iTunes on a per-song pricepoint. Or better yet, a per-megabyte model like AllofMP3.com (but more legal).

Update:
The Street has a bit more speculation on this, suggesting that Google is actually planning to team up with iTunes in some manner. No idea whether this is just returning search results that point to iTunes, or in fact offering purchases and downloads direct from Google.

[quote]

There’s “speculation of an iTunes launch,” says Paul Foster, an options strategist at Theflyonthewall.com. “Google is going to offer iTunes somehow on their platform,” according to the rumor, he says.

[/quote]

Update 2:
It’s been a long time coming (4 months by my reckoning), but this rumour has been borne out, albeit in the slightly watered-down linking-to-iTunes mode.

Update 3 (Jan 27th 2006): And again, the rumour comes up in the form of some random analyst prediction. I’m not sure if this latest ‘prediction’ bears any more weight in light of the video store move.

[quote]

“We believe that Google is in the midst of creating its own iTunes competitor, which we’ve dubbed ‘Google Tunes’,” the analyst wrote in a client note issued today. “We think this is a logical step, now that the nascent Google Video product has been introduced.”

[/quote]

16 replies on “Google Music Store?”

  1. http://whois.sc/googlemusic.com

    Registrant:
    Google Inc.
    (DOM-1314687)
    1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View
    CA
    94043 US

    Domain Name: googlemusic.com

    Registrar Name: Markmonitor.com
    Registrar Whois: whois.markmonitor.com
    Registrar Homepage: http://www.markmonitor.com

    Administrative Contact:
    DNS Admin
    (NIC-1467103)
    Google Inc.
    1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View
    CA
    94043 US
    Whois Privacy and Spam Prevention by Whois Source +1.6503300100 Fax- +1.6506188571
    Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
    DNS Admin
    (NIC-1467103)
    Google Inc.
    1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View
    CA
    94043 US
    Whois Privacy and Spam Prevention by Whois Source +1.6503300100 Fax- +1.6506188571

    Created on…………..: 2003-Feb-13.
    Expires on…………..: 2008-Feb-13.
    Record last updated on..: 2004-Nov-01 09:49:36.

    Domain servers in listed order:

    NS2.GOOGLE.COM
    NS1.GOOGLE.COM
    NS3.GOOGLE.COM
    NS4.GOOGLE.COM

  2. http://whois.sc/googlemusic.com

    Registrant:
    Google Inc.
    (DOM-1314687)
    1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View
    CA
    94043 US

    Domain Name: googlemusic.com

    Registrar Name: Markmonitor.com
    Registrar Whois: whois.markmonitor.com
    Registrar Homepage: http://www.markmonitor.com

    Administrative Contact:
    DNS Admin
    (NIC-1467103)
    Google Inc.
    1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View
    CA
    94043 US
    Whois Privacy and Spam Prevention by Whois Source +1.6503300100 Fax- +1.6506188571
    Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
    DNS Admin
    (NIC-1467103)
    Google Inc.
    1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View
    CA
    94043 US
    Whois Privacy and Spam Prevention by Whois Source +1.6503300100 Fax- +1.6506188571

    Created on…………..: 2003-Feb-13.
    Expires on…………..: 2008-Feb-13.
    Record last updated on..: 2004-Nov-01 09:49:36.

    Domain servers in listed order:

    NS2.GOOGLE.COM
    NS1.GOOGLE.COM
    NS3.GOOGLE.COM
    NS4.GOOGLE.COM

  3. I say this is just another sort of search. Seems doubtful Google will be selling individual songs directly.

    Now, on the other hand, I could see this searching all the legal music sites (both paid-for-RIAA, free-indie, and models in between) as well as searching podcasts (which will be indexed by submission / discovery of podcast RSS feeds) and possibly Google serving as an intermediary to collect payment and/or provide advertising for podcasters.

    If Google does sell music or podcasts directly, I would be very interested to see if DRM is used or (unfortunately more likely) what kind of DRM is used. I would presume Google is smart enough to not want Windows Media DRM, but I don’t know how likely it is that Apple would license FairPlay. However, Google would definitely be a good choice for a FairPlay license, IMO.

  4. If they do get together, it’ll just be another door into iTunes or another unimaginative record store…
    I’m working on a new music service, iTunegle, which will blow them all out of the water. I’ve tried to get Apple to look at it, but their not invented here syndrome kicks in and they won’t even listen; and, Google-good luck getting to anyone who will listen. iTunegle would benefit both, drawing on each’s strengths, hence the name. Fortunately, there are plenty of other players with pieces of the solution looking for a way to get in the game. Sony, of all players, had the audacity to say they’ve already considered all the options.
    Sony sounds like Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. patent office, 1899-“Everything that can be invented has been invented.”
    BTW, patents are pending.

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