In the past week or two, we have discussed whether giving the ability to businesses to add their own pages to Google+ would be the “game changer”, or at least the move in the right direction, to start bringing more people to using Google’s social network (even though they don’t call it that). Time has yet to tell if this will help, but today Google has unveiled another attempt to make Google+ more relevant.

Google+ has unveiled a music service that allows users to listen for free or purchase (.99 or 1.29) over 13 million songs. (This service replaces the beta service that was released earlier and has most of the major labels signed – this builds on 10/28 post.) Users who purchase a song through Google+ then can give other Google+ users a listen to a track or album for free before they need to purchase it. Google Music attempts to tap into the social aspect of listening to and sharing music with your friends which should encourage discovery and purchases. This move will also allow you to share your music across Andriod powered devices and other peripherals.

This move works well for the users, the music industry and Google. It offers users an opportunity to share their common interest in music. It helps the music industry by promoting discovery and gives an opportunity to not only be tied to iTunes. It helps Google by enlarging their portfolio and pushes users to Google+.

However, the problem occurs, and the doubt rises, when you have such intrenched players, mainly iTunes, already in the market. Further, this development isn’t anything really new – Google isn’t breaking new ground by providing something that, well, has already been provided. But there is another way to look at this – instead of looking at it as a “game-changer” perhaps its just another battle in the larger war. If Google continues on its path with Youtube, TV, Google Wallet, GMail, GChat, etc, perhaps this entire spectrum of applications will start to tilt the scale in their favor. Also, Andriod power phones led the third quarter with 53%. This could point to an expansion of Andriod smart phone users in the market that may rival iPhone users soon – an important aspect as we want our peripherals to share music and this could be a deciding factor when making purchases.

The questions are:

– Will you try Google+ now?
– Will this maneuver be enough to start taking attention away from, or at least let Google+, to share some of the spotlight with Facebook? with iTunes?
– Is this part of Google’s larger strategy?

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5 thoughts on “Google….Music?

  1. To answer your questions:

    1) NO – this doesn’t make or break Google+

    2) NO – it is definitely a plus, but as mentioned in the first source article by the Gartner Inc. analyst that covers the space, “They’re coming into this saturated market rather late in the game, where there are large, established players.” For Google+, offering music sharing and download capabilities allows them to compete on par with Apple and Facebook, but does not aid to increase their networking effect.

    3) YES – this is part of Google’s larger strategy. That strategy is not about driving revenue through expansion into the online music space, but instead primarily focused on adding “like-kind” competitive services to support their Android smart phone business.

    To site the first source article again, Google’s main goal is to “fight for smartphone users and mobile-advertising customers.” To best do this, Google needs to continue to foster their Google+ network by adding funcationality/capabilities that their competitors have but that they are difficient in. Music clearly being core to the iPhone offering and something that Android did not have…until now.

    With Android technology becoming more prominently accepted in the marketplace (leading all smartphones in Q3 with 53% marketshare), Android is better positioned to take a larger chunk out of their hardware and social networking competitors by offering a smart phone that not only has the technical capabilities as the iPhone, but also enabls users to manage their social interactions with friends/peers in the their network in one location on one device.

  2. Almost one month ago, when Google planed to launch the music service, some comments said that Google would face a risk without the participation of all four major label companies. But I said, at that time, this was just a matter of time. The factual proof that I am right. Now, Google has unveiled the music service that allows users to listen for free or purchase over 13 million songs. Besides, Google has reached the agreements with Sony, Universal Music and EMI. Even though Warner Music hadn’t yet reached an accord with Google, I will continue insisting my opinion that it is a matter of time.

    I have Google+ account but I haven’t used it very often. I even can’t remember when I opened it last time. The reasons are very simple. I have not friends on Google+ and I have not time and attention to handle two similar social networking sites.

    I don’t think the maneuver that Google launched the music service is enough to take attention away from to share some of spotlight with Facebook and iTunes. Because this development, as PYLYP says, isn’t anything really new-Google isn’t breaking new ground by providing something that has already been provided, especially when intrenched players such as iTunes has already in the market. But at least, this move will cause effects to FB and iTunes and it will be a part of Google’s larger strategy. In my opinion, based on Google’s strong search engine and technology support, as well as its ambition, it is unexpected that Google launches its online music store, following by launched Android system and Google+. In order to fight with FB and Apple, launched music service is an inevitable choice, no matter Google music will success or not. I also agree the Google’s director’s point that this social feature has the potential to transform purchasing behavior.

    In short, Google music may not breathe life into Google+, but this move is very important for Google’s larger strategy.

  3. Google’s foray into music is less about striving to be a leader in the music space as it is bolstering it’s portfolio of other products and services. By offering consumers a deep catalogue of music, Google is simply providing people with premium content within their core environments of Google+ and it’s Andriod mobile platform.

    While I don’t believe that this marks an immediate migration of fans into Google+ or Android products, I do think that this will strengthen Google’s value proposition to consumers. The two most important ingredients in driving success for Google+ and Android are 1) attracting users and 2) offering unique content experiences. By offering access to over 13 million songs, Google has improved its value to consumers and incentivized them to sign up for a Google+ account or purchase an Android enabled device. If Google wants to effectively compete in these spaces, it will need to continue to provide people with unique options such as music, movies, news, gaming, etc.

    One very interesting aspect of this announcement was the social capability of the service. Very smart to allow fans to listen to friends music/libraries for free as I agree that this will drive discovery for music artists and engagement/connectivity for Google. Anyone want to guess how long it will take Facebook/iTunes/Spotify to follow suit?

  4. I definitely agree, I think this move by Google+ is just part of their larger strategy. They are coming in late in the game for sure so I think they are being smart by implementing certain stages little by little. I think the aspect that could eventually make Google+ successful is the overall social aspect they seem to be incorporating. Other music programs like iTunes don’t have the social dimension Google+ is offering which could entice some young users to move over to Google+. It’s hard to predict how everything is going to shape out with Google+. Is it the next big thing or just a passing ship?

  5. I agree with Connor’s comment regarding the addition of this music service essentially being a mobile play. Google’s android devices need something to compete with the iphone’s itunes, allowing you to really access everything you want via your mobile device. I thought the sharing aspect of the service could be the distinguishing factor, differentiating it from all other music services, especially if you could easily share the songs from android device to android device.

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