It’s no secret that Google has been developing a new online music store, but it appears that the new service may bow as soon as this Fall for the Holiday shopping season.
Industry sources have observed that Google, after making deals with several labels, is now in talks with publishers including the Harry Fox Agency. The increased pace of the deals indicate that the backend of the download store is now in the alpha stages of development, and the content deals need to be sewn up for a debut before the end of the year.
The major labels have welcomed competition from other players in the space including Amazon and Wal-Mart in order to create more balance. Amazon and Wal-Mart each own a little over 10% of the market and the majors feel that Google could achieve another 10% depending on the success of their rollout and how it’s integrated with their other products. A Google, Wal-Mart and Amazon marketshare of 30% would rival Apple’s 30% share and may give them the leverage they need to combat Cupertino’s strict terms.
Google will face an uphill battle in terms of their interface. Google’s online applications and services are by no means “sexy” and the music industry could certainly use some shine these days. Worse still is that while Google may be able to dial in Android, other players may not fare as well as far as seamless integration.
The Future: Google, no doubt, is taking the initiative seriously, and will not just enter the market to say “we can too” – A strategy that ultimately diminished Yahoo’s stature and relegated it to second tier status. If Google is going to enter the market with some luster, they’re going to need to include a killer feature that hasn’t been exploited before…