We turn to Google for our search. We turn to Google for our smartphones and tablets. Heck, thanks to YouTube, we even turn to Google for hilarious videos like “Cookie Monster Sings Chocolate Rain.” But Google won’t stop there. Google wants to be the go-to brand for everything. Case in point: a company honcho confirmed earlier today that Google plans on stepping on Apple and Amazon’s toes and offering a major music service sometime in the not-to-distant future.
According to a report from AllThingsD, Android head Andy Rubin told the crowd at the AsiaD conference in Hong Kong that the company is close to launching a music service of its own. Don’t expect a straight-up iTunes clone: Rubin cryptically claims that Google’s offering “will have a little twist – it will have a little Google in it. It won’t just be selling 99-cent tracks.”
What’s that mean, exactly? We don’t know. But Rubin clarified why Google has been slow to launch its own version of iTunes: “Google is in the very, very early phases of adding consumer products to our portfolio. The media industry didn’t see us as that. They saw us a search company.” The labels appear to be getting over their preconceptions pretty rapidly now, however; reports say that EMI is the only holdout left among four major US labels.
It remains to be seen if Google’s music service will tap into the cloud storage capabilities of the company’s Music Beta, which debuted earlier this year (and only stores users' music collections; it doesn't sell tracks). The Beta’s cloud function has been a bit maligned, but Google probably needs to offer cloud streaming to Android devices if it wants to compete with the iCloud-powered iTunes Match service for users’ musical dollars.