Sources are reporting today that Google is deep in talks to get music labels on board for a Google competitor to iTunes. The service would offer digital downloads, as well as a digital locker that users could stream music from. This is a feature Apple has yet to implement despite buying music streaming startup Lala several months ago.
The man behind Google's Android operating system, Andy Rubin, is supposedly leading the talks with music labels. Rubin is the driving force for getting the service up and running this year, say sources. The labels meanwhile, see this an opportunity to take some of the wind out of iTunes' sails.
Google will have a steep hill to climb if they can get Google Music off the ground. Amazon has thus far been able to capture only 12% of the US digital music market. Google's ace in the hole will be Android. If this streaming is integrated with Android handsets via a downloadable app, it could make the service very desirable.