Details Of Today’s Google Music Beta Launch

image from Despite a failure to cut deals with the major labels, Google Music is set to launch in beta today at the Google I/O 2011 Developer Conference.  Initially at least, the service will function as a cloud music locker and without a download store or a paid streaming service. But Google Music will offer some features that Amazon's cloud locker does not.

Google's free music locker will include 50GB of space, enough to to store 20,000 songs.  Amazon currently gives 5G of free space plus a variety of paid upgrades. Another Google feature will automatically create playlists for users.  Beta invites will be handed out at the I/O conference today and a full US roll-out should happen within a couple of weeks.

Why no downloads or streaming? “Unfortunately, a couple of the major labels were less focused on the innovative vision that we put forward, and more interested in in an unreasonable and unsustainable set of business terms,” Jamie Rosenberg, who oversees digital content and strategy for Google’s Android platform, told AllThingsDigital. What's next? “I think we’re honestly going to learn from the beta experience, and think about opportunities for the long-term model,” he said.

Expect Apple to launch a similar service tied to iTunes within weeks.

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  1. hmm. This smells like retreat to me. Without a monetizable transaction model, what’s the point really? I suppose Google will learn a lot about music consumption and playlist-trading behavior, but unclear what this really does for them in the long run. I’m guessing all bets are off for the once hoped-for Google Music initiative as they had wanted it to work originally. They pretty much have to wait it out until Apple launches to see how that business will be designed to run and how the margins will work.
    I would not be surprised if this marks the beginning of the end of the Google Music initiative per se. The good news: Android users will at least be able to play music they own in a convenient and portable way. But that’s really just a file-synching product, isn’t it?
    Oh, btw – Where’s Microsoft in this discussion??? They have a real opportunity to step in here and become a real competitor to Amazon’e buy-and-store model. They already have inventory, they already have a cloud, they already have customers. I’m keeping my eye on them – especially now that distraction of the Skype deal is over. All they have to do is port the Zune client to Android and they’re pretty much off and running…

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