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Today in Social

It’s great to be able to share a song with a friend or a Circle: one free listen via Google+ of songs purchased at Google’s store. But that’s about the only innovation from yesterday’s Google music announcements. Oh, and you can pay for Android-purchased songs on your T-mobile bill, and Paul Sweeting’s right about getting unlicensed storage buy-in from some labels. Otherwise, it’s just another music download store (without Warner Music artists) with a free cloud-based locker. As Peter Kafka points out, Android needs such a thing. But it’s not playing to Google’s strength – where’s the search integration – and even Amazon, a far better merchandiser, can’t gain share against the iTunes store. So Google missed out on an opportunity to disrupt digital music. Meanwhile, this kind of coverage – saying online stores, lockers and on-demand streaming services are converging – is bad for the industry. They may converge some day, but they’re not right now, and that risks confusing consumers once again about what “cloud services” deliver. It’s tough enough for them to get their minds around music subscriptions.