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Posted by Mark Mulligan on October 21, 2009
There are numerous reports that Google is about to launch a music service. Whether the rumours have foundation or not I think it is worth reflecting on what role Google could play in digital music and their various assets. Here are some initial thoughts:
The last point is where I think Google’s core value proposition for the music industry comes in. Apple can do little about iPod owners downloading from BitTorrent (and our survey data shows they are very likely to do so). But Google on the other hand can. Just imagine if when a consumer searches for a song, alongside all of those Torrent results is a heavily integrated Google music offering.
Whether or not there is any substance in the current rumours, Google could play a major role in online music. What will be at front of mind for them though will be learning their lessons from YouTube, i.e. not hemorrhaging cash and not getting bogged down in rights holder spats. If they have the appetite for it Google could bring something new and incremental to the digital music equation.