(UPDATED) Google Music left beta this afternoon touting music discovery, unique sharing options, mobile payments and a direct to fan sales hub for independent artists. In a move that bests Apple, Google's cloud service is free for up to 20,000 songs and available for streaming on all platforms including iOS. 320kps music download purchases have been incorporated into the Android app store.
Music Available At Launch
The service launches with 8 million tracks Sony, UMG, EMI, Merlin and dozens of indie labels via distributors IODA, InGrooves and The Orchard. Representatives of EMI, Universal and Merlin where on stage with Google Music execs during the launch announcement.
Google's Direct To Fan Artist Hub
Unique among major music services, Google has created the Google Music Artist Hub where artists can create landing pages, upload, stream, set the sale price and sell direct ot fans. There is a one time $25 registration fee and 70% of each sale is paid to the artist. Sale links will be added to YouTube's new merch store soon.
Google emphasized music discovery and sharing during today's presentation. When a tracks or albums are purchased on Google, users can email and/or send friends on their Google+ stream a free onetime full length play. Tracks, albums and playlists in the cloud can also be marked for offline play and synch automatically.
The Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Pearl Jam, Dave Mathews and others are giving away live tracks. Busta Rhymes is debuting his new album free on Google Music.
Mobile With T Mobile
Google announced that T Mobile users will be able to pay for music on their mobile phone bill and hinted a futehr partnerships powered by their Android mobile platform.