In a move straight out of Apple’s 2003 playbook, Google is trying to launch a music download store. Again.Google has been working on this initiative for more than a year now, but its first shot, Google Music Beta, was very limited — it only let users back up their existing collections to Google’s Web servers, then stream those songs to Android and other devices.
At the time, Google didn’t have the cooperation it needed from record labels and publishers to launch an actual music store.
But in recent weeks, Google has been talking to labels and publishers about getting a download store off the ground, reports the New York Times.
But hold on: some labels are apparently still worried that Google’s music locker could be “a bastion of piracy,” according to an unnamed label executive.
That’s funny because Amazon launched a similar online backup service called Amazon Cloud Drive earlier this year, and it already has an MP3 store with more than 17 million songs.
The labels didn’t like Cloud Drive either, but a legal ruling in August seemed to put Amazon (and Google) in the clear.
So we’re not sure what the hold-up is this time, but apparently Google is trying to get the deals signed before Apple’s iTunes Match service launches later this month.
iTunes Match works a little differently — it doesn’t upload your collection to the cloud, but rather scans it and looks for matches — and it costs $25 a year. The music labels have no problem with iTunes Match, as it helps them earn money from music that people have already downloaded for free from other sources.