Google has begun discussions with major record labels to create and launch its own online music download store, in the latest instalment of its ongoing quest for world media domination.
The new music platform, which Google hopes to see implemented and generating sales by Christmas, will be in direct competition the Apple iTunes Store, the online music market dominator which currently claims 70% of legal music downloads within the US.
Google’s competitive advantage against iTunes will be the compatibility of its online music application with the Google-engineered Android smartphone operating system. The brains behind the search engine giant’s move to online music is Google’s engineering VP Andy Rubin, who lead the orignal Android development team.
Android-powered mobile devices continue to gain solid market share against Apple’s iOS gadgets. Google recently released statistics claiming that 200,000 Android units are sold per day, making the concept of an optimised-for-Android music store very appealing to a significant share of the smartphone user demographic – and very concerning for Apple.
Key players in the music industry are excited about the prospect of competition for Apple iTunes, which has essentially dominated the music download market for the past seven years. According to one music label executive, who wished to remain anonymous:
“Finally here’s an entity with the reach, resources and wherewithal to take on iTunes as a formidable competitor by tying it into search and Android mobile platform. What you’ll have is a very powerful player in the market that’s good for the music business.”
Music downloaders should benefit as well, as iTunes may be required to improve the value of its service to remain competitive if the Google platform proves to be a hit.