Tue Oct, 2011 by Derek Mehraban
Google’s Music Beta Service is about to launch a new service similar to iTunes allowing users to purchase and download songs for about $.99 each. A major difference between this service and all other online music stores is its linkage to a social network. Google+ will be used to drive sales to the new stores. The disclosed method is that when a user makes a purchase he can then share it to his Google+ circles. Those users may then listen to the song once with an option for purchase afterwards.
Sony Music Entertainment and the Warner Music Group have not yet signed on to the service. This may prove to be costly mistake as the enthusiasm surrounding the new service may possibly wane when the selection is finally large enough to avoid frustrating some users. Spotify and iTunes both delayed the launches of their services in the U.S. until the four major publishers were on board. It is expected that eventually they will sign on. Sony Music Entertainment is notorious for coming on board very late, only when it realizes that it’s abstention will not affect the service’s actual launch.
The combination of this service with Google+ and with Android based devices will help distinguish it. The integration should also help propel more people to Google+. Once ads do come to Google+ they should have a higher viewership because of increased stickiness of pages as people review the music preferences of people in their circles. Google will also be able to use the data about purchases and even what people are listening to buttress its already substantial social graph. There also some interesting cross-promotional abilities Google can use, capitalizing on the omnipresence of music in ads and video content.