Google is reportedly about to launch a new music service in partnership with LaLa and iLike (MySpace).
— Update, October 28, 2009: This is now live. See our story, Google Music Search 2.0 Launches With Musical “OneBox” for more. —
According to TechCrunch, users will access the Google music service through search:
Users will be able to stream songs directly from Google via partners iLike and LaLa. Additional information around the music query will be provided to users as well (presumably any relevant results from YouTube as well as information already available in Google’s existing music search – example). One source said that Google will organize music searches in a way very similar to the way they do public company stock searches today.
CNET reports the following:
The initiative is coming out of Google Search and is designed to organize everything a music fan may need when searching online for a favorite artist, the sources said.
The way One Box will work is that a person who keys in the names U2 or Coldplay, for example, will find a thumbnail photo of the artists, background information, as well as a listing of the music that they can preview, according to the sources.
An angle I haven’t yet seen discussed is the Android angle. Currently Android users can get music on their phones through a deal with Amazon’s music store. However this is a significant weakness of Android vs. the iPhone, which much more seamlessly integrates music and ringtone downloads into the mobile experience. Delivering music to mobile devices may become part of any such Google service, assuming TechCrunch has it right. We’ll see.
This is another potential way in which Google becomes even more of a direct competitor of Apple.
There’s more discussion on Techmeme.
Postscript: We just received our own ticket/invitation to the launch event:
Reportedly the service will provide e-commerce links to Amazon and the iTunes music store, solving the mystery of the download question.