November 16, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Google Music and the Android Market now support song purchases. The oft-discussed, long-rumored music store from Google has finally arrived. At its These Go to Eleven event in Los Angeles today, Google confirmed that its Music venture will now support song and album purchases for music from 3 of the 4 major U.S. record labels. EMI, Sony, Universal, have all reached deals that will allow Google to sell more than 13 million songs directly through the Android Market. (Warner Music is the only group not yet included.)
In addition to announcing that it will begin selling music through the Android Market, Google confirmed that Music “beta” is no more – registration is now open to everyone in the United States. As an added bonus, the company confirmed that Google Music will continue to be a free service for streaming a user’s music collection.
However, users can add to that collection with purchased songs, raising the entertainment options for what was previously only a cloud streaming locker for the user’s personal collection. Google’s music storefront will also come with a “twist” to distinguish Google from other streaming services.
“It’s about connecting you to the music you own and discovering music that we – or better yet, your friends” think you will enjoy, said Jamie Rosenberg, director of digital content at Google.
Here’s how it works:
- When a song is purchased, it immediately goes to your locker and is available for streaming through any Android device with access to Google Music (or the web player). Users can also browse the music store online or directly through their Android phones and tablets.
- After a song is purchased, users can recommend the song to friends on Google+ so a friend can listen to it in full once. Users can target a specific circle or email to contacts not on Google Plus, and the share link is enabled from the purchase window, web, or Android device. (The same deal is available for full albums)
- There will be a Free Song of the Day ranging from different genres, and every week will spotlight an emerging artist in the Antenna section. These are up-and-coming artists personally recommended by Google staffers.
- There will also be interviews and video clips made especially for Google’s Magnifier blog. There will also be artist bios and album reviews.
- Google will deliver exclusives, including live concert albums, and studio-recordings launched first on Google Music.
- Independent artists will have the ability to upload their songs and gain exposure and sell their music. Artists will have control over how music is previewed/played, and also have Google+ share feature. Artists keep 70% of revenue. There will be a feature to include direct sales linked through YouTube.
Android 2.2 is required in order to use the Google Music app. Anyone in the United States can open an account and download the latest version of the Google Music app from the Android Market.