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Google Music, The King Maker?

Google just added music search and 15 minutes later I am hooked. (The rumors of Google Music had flared up back in August!)

The search engine helped me find really obscure artists, their biographies, discographies, latest news, and links to their websites. Of course, the search makes it super easy to find the music that is available for sale, either as an album or a single. I like the fact that Google is giving representation to even smaller retailers.

Google links to the eMusic, Rhapsody, MSN Music and other music e-tailers. (Though I did not see any links to Yahoo Music.) Regardless, a disproportionate number of singles/albums are linked to iTunes store. “Either way, Google doesn’t get a cut of any music sales — but they (of course) do make money on any related ads,” writes Mike over at Techdirt.

Perhaps, Google just might turn out to be the king maker in the digital music download space. Given Microsoft and Yahoo’s musical ambitions, it is fair to assume that Google could e get “closer” to Apple. But that’s a story for another day.

Google Vs Mercora

Google Music is not the first – Mercora has been offering music-related search for a while; but Google Music is definitely a more in-depth offering. For instance, Mercora has better way of showing information, but doesn’t have latest news links and you can buy music from MSN Music. However, if you are using a PC on the Mercora Networks, then you can listen to the music over its P2P radio network. You cannot preview music on Google Music as yet.

Another Google shortcoming, to paraphrase an old saying, has an interface only a mother would love. Search giant makes up for that shortcoming with ample goodies. I can see at some point in the future people plugging the Google Music Search into their recommendation tools like say, Music Strands, which incidentally just released their new software.

Google’s move into the music space comes at the right time. According to a survey by Ipsos-Insight, this holiday season nearly 22% respondents were looking to buy the lower storage music players like iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle, while 14% were going to be opting for higher capacity devices. What that means – they will soon be searching for music information. And what better place than Google Music!

23 Responses to “Google Music, The King Maker?”

  1. i think Google’s ostensible linking to the iTunes Music Store might be its perhaps temporary way to somewhat mitigate the fact that it doesn’t provide you with sampling. iTMS URLs will fire-up iTunes which lets you sample songs right-away, before buying.

    Also, iTMS is likely a faster path to instant gratification for actually *owning* music. It has wider coverage with a collection that’ll cater to the widest audiences, it lets you *own* music, not “subscribe to it”, works on Mac and PCs, lets you burn to CD, and works with the only music player on the market that people actually give a damn about, namely the iPod.

  2. What is so special about google audio search?

    Don’t get me wrong, I like google alot, but I just do not see why there has to be so much fan fare around a product already provided by others…

    Yahoo had it’s audio search for a while…

    Yahoo! lets you specify which subscription services you are a member of, so you can download a song directly from there and not a vendor google’s specifies… particularly helpful if you have an account with a provider other than iTunes.
    Also, Yahoo!’s searches podcasts, which I have become a fan of.

    In fact, I like it alot more than google’s, whose results (on initial analysis) do not always show what I am looking for in a music search.

  3. Kashif Haq

    I guess integration of video libraries is next. This announcement is interesting, I do think that a BROADER Google and Apple partnership could be a very powerful proposition for consumers and blow to the competition.

  4. About Google not having good commerce links for independent artists. It isn’t exactly suprising that Google went for the lowest hanging fruit at launch by targeting links to the big retailers, who will tend to underrepresent independent artists. On the other hand, they invite independent sellers to submit their stores.

    What I think is a bit odd is that results for Harvey Danger, whose latest album is completely self released, link directly to the band’s own storefront. Odder still, the link is lowercase, while every other specialized link I’ve seen under a band’s result is capitolized.

  5. While interesting, google Music is nothing more than a catch-up to yahoo, ask jeeves and bunch of others who have a “static” search for music related information, images, etc.

    As Om mentioned, what this is sorely missing is the ability to listen to the music itself. And thats what Mercora has ( ): Instant gratification for the listner.

  6. >>> I like the fact that Google is giving representation to even smaller retailers.

    While there may be some representation of the small guys, Google has left out the soul of the music world – the independent artists.

    In my tests this morning, the only indie artsits I’m finding in their search, are people with albums being sold at one of the larger online retailers.

    >>> And what better place than Google Music!

    I’d have to disagree. If I want a commercial CD, I’d either shop locally, or use – if I want to buy digital files, I’d use, and if I want free independent music, I use

    If I wanted to spend my time searching, I’d use Google Music Search. But who wants to search?

    >>>The search engine helped me find really obscure artists, their biographies, discographies, latest news, and links to their websites.

    Can you provide a few examples?

    My thought, is that if an artist was obscure, they wouldn’t be at one of the retailers – which means we are talking about a “Long Tail Artist” :) And as you know, retailers aren’t “Long Tail Friendly,” which means the way to find obscure artists is not through a search mechanism that’s built from retail catalogs (unless the catalog is also obscure).

    Certainly, Google has the means to greatly improve the search, but as of now, it’s not impressive, it’s not very useful, and most importantly, there are better ways to find music… especially independent music.

    And yes, I’m a bit biased :), I’m the owner of

    Thanks for the blogging Om!

    Gideon Marken

  7. I would say given the recent rumors of google going after opera and the recent music search ambitions. This could make them poised for another great position as the mobile market starts to take off. Especially with phones enabled to handle music downloads.

  8. Jacob Varghese

    There was a lot of talk about google and apple working together earlier this year. Nothing came of it back then. I wonder if Apple is paying to be listed as the first store for these albums and singles.