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GOOG Up As Market Recovers
The markets are bouncing around as French debt fears grow and Goldman Sachs reports a worse than anticipated quarter, its second only loss in the company’s history since going public. Shares of GOOG continue to rise. Catalysts include continued Android momentum in the smartphone and tablet markets worldwide; Motorola acquisition approval and integration; regaining ground in China; any signs of life for Google TV (including Motorola); the roll-out of Google Music (see below), social network Google+ and Google Wallet; and progress in other newer initiatives (location-based services, mapping, gaming, daily deals, etc.). The stock trades at approximately 11.7x Enterprise Value / EBIT, inexpensive relative to historical trading levels. Click here for Business Insider’s updated Google model, complete with valuation, charts and financial tables.Is Google Trying To Launch Its Music Service Ahead Of iTunes Match? (The New York Times)
Google has been working on securing re-sale rights for major songs and albums, according to music executives. Current negotiations seek playback rights as well as the option to have users purchase music directly which is beyond its previous attempts to secure rights, which requested advanced licensing privileges for the cloud storage of audio files in Google’s Music (Beta) service. Google may be hoping to announce its store before Apple opens its latest cloud music program, iTunes Match, which is expected to be operational by the end of October.
YouTube Becomes A Music E-Commerce Destination (VentureBeat)
YouTube launched the Merch Store, allowing music fans to download tracks and purchase merchandise straight through YouTube. Being a huge promotional platform to sell merchandise and tickets, this is a big deal for both music labels and artists. The company partnered with a number of different companies to enable the e-commerce add-ons, including Topspin (for merchandise, concert tickets and other experiences), Songkick (for concerts) and Amazon and iTunes (for music downloads). You can’t help but wonder if this will somehow be rolled into Google Music.
Google Wallet Continues Its Slow March Forward (TechCrunch)
Google Wallet unveiled its first round of retail partners, including American Eagle Outfitters, The Container Store, Foot Locker, Guess, Jamba Juice, Macy’s, OfficeMax and Toys R Us. Those partners are now beginning to offer coupons and rewards points exclusively through Google Wallet, going after Groupon and Foursquare at once. Google Wallet is still only available to consumers that have the Sprint Nexus S 4G.
Hints That Jelly Bean Will Be More Of A Sweeping Android Update (Electronista)
Google hinted as to the schedule of Android’s Jelly Bean update with the announcement of Google I/O 2012. The developer expo is due at the Moscone centre in San Francisco on April 24 and 25. Jelly Bean is rumoured to be a more complete update than its yet to be released predecessor, Ice Cream Sandwich. What that means is anyone’s guess. Ice Cream Sandwich will be announced today at a Google event in Hong Kong, where we should hopefully also see the arrival of the Galaxy Nexus (Samsung).