People have been talking about the idea of Google for music for years, but soon that speculation may, in the near future, become a reality. And, that reality may have benefits for a lot of players, with the exception of Apple.
Google hopes to be up and running with its music service by December. Google Vice President of Engineering Andy Rubin has had conversations with various music labels about what a Google music service would look like. While nothing has been set in stone, Google hopes to make progress on these deals.
When Google launches its service, it has the chance to take a major chunk out of the Apple’s dominant iTunes marketplace, considering its growing presence in the mobile market. In fact, the mobile platform may be where the real battle is lost or won.
Sales of Android-based phones are up to 200,000 a day, creating a large base of users who may take advantage of the service. It also creates another potential beneficiary of this war, the mobile carriers who will undoubtedly need to up-sell a lot of different data plans for the music.
Google’s ability to tie the music to the search results of end users and work with their own Android-based mobile phones would give them a serious edge against any other competitor trying to challenge the seven-year reign of the iTunes store.
The iTunes Music Store currently accounts for 70 to 80% percent of the total $7.7 billion in digital musicsales in 2009, in the United States.
The obvious beneficiary are the music labels, who will be able to play one side off of the other and get more in the way of compensation for their product. Of course, consumers may benefit if they see the prices of their favorite tunes drop.
This potential war also presents opportunities for entrepreneurs who can make life simpler for either of these two potential beneficiaries of the process. The odds of servicing Google or Apple directly is not very likely. They both have armies of developers to work with in house, but a strategic targeting of mobile carriers or labels could open up new and profitable challenges for a startup with the right idea.
Even a tool marketed towards the end users, that would allow for the integration of both music libraries could be a solid plan for an ingenious start up company