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Google Shies Away from Digital Music Sales 112

mytrip writes to tell us that Google has announced that they will not be getting in on the digital music sales market anytime soon. Analysts have been predicting the response of a "GTunes" service for months but Chris Sacca, head of business development at Google, dispelled those rumors in a recent address at the annual National Association of Recording Merchandisers conference in Florida. Sacca emphasized the need for "ecosystem development" and partnerships within the industry stating that they were the "big opportunity" in the digital music business.
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Google Shies Away from Digital Music Sales

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  • by telbij ( 465356 ) * on Saturday August 05, 2006 @06:28PM (#15853543)
    Digital music is a rough market to be in. The only ones making any money are Apple, and that's from iPods. If the music industry had any concept of developing a new market instead of sucking it dry for the last penny maybe you'd see more companies anxious to get involved. The current business model of suing file traders and restrictive DRM is probably just driving away customers.

    Legitimate digital music is really a step backwards. With vinyl, cassettes and CDs there was a certain standard that meant if you bought music you could use it pretty much anywhere. The equivalent standard for digital music is seen as too easy to copy, so they've insisted on DRM. But the real problem is not that MP3s are easy to copy per se, but that computers have changed the rules of the game. The music industry needs to shift their focus to developing a better product, instead of crippling everything and then getting mad when people don't buy in.
    • With vinyl, cassettes and CDs there was a certain standard that meant if you bought music you could use it pretty much anywhere.

      Not really. You have to pay big bucks to use music, regardless of the medium, for public performances, such as in a play, or in a movie soundtrack. If you play it on the radio, you must play royalties. The medium didn't change this.

      • "If you play it on the radio, you must play royalties." Didn't a fairly recent payola ruling show that this is not always true? For some tunes it is the other way around.
        • Wrong direction. Payola means the record companies pay radio stations for preferential treatment to play the record companies' music. Licensing means the radio stations pay ASCAP/BMI for the right to broadcast ASCAP/BMI members' music. Payola is illegal; licensing is legal.
          • Wrong direction. Payola means the record companies pay radio stations for preferential treatment to play the record companies' music. Licensing means the radio stations pay ASCAP/BMI for the right to broadcast ASCAP/BMI members' music. Payola is illegal; licensing is legal


            Go back and read grandparent again. This is precisely what he's saying.
        • by Reaperducer ( 871695 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @07:13PM (#15853668)
          You are confusing two separate issues.

          The fact remains (and this is something that many internet bitcasters can't wrap their brains around) that the average radio station pays millions of dollars each year to play music. Even if you're a crappy three kilowatt FM in some medium market, your licensing fee is going to run about a million dollars a year (Could have changed, it's been a few years since I was involved in this).

          People on the internet like to pretend that radio stations get their music for free. Yes, the record companies send them free CDs, but the radio stations still have to pay for playing them on the air. And in many cases, even small stations don't rely on free CDs from the record companies any more. They subscribe to libraries of what are essentially mix CDs full of music tailored to their audience. That's another service they pay for.

          I got out of radio several years ago, so I can only imagine what internet delivery of playlists has done to all of this. But one thing I'm sure of -- radio stations aren't playing music for free.
          • Certain radio stations and DJs also receive quite a lot of money from music promoters to play certain songs more often than others. It has been this way for decades. There have been many scandals and the practice continues. It was happening back in the '60's. Those are facts. Yes, stations do pay fees, but don't pretend there are not kickbacks.
      • I think his point was that you could use it anywhere from a technological perspective.
        • It's true! It was totally easy to play a vinyl LP in an 8-track deck and vice versa. All that was required was that you heat it in the oven and then fold it into the right form factor (You could use a rolling pin to flatten out an 8-track tape so you could play it on your turntable).

          Before the 8-track days, we used to take a potato peeler to my uncle's wax cylinder recordings and then carefully glue them to both sides of 1/4" magnetic tape. If you were really careful, you could get quadraphonic sound on a g
        • I think his point was that you could use it anywhere from a technological perspectiv

          How is it any different today? Take the popular legal music services - iTunes and eMusic (or whatever that one that gives you MP3s is called). You simply burn the tracks to a CD, or record your computer's audio-out if you want to use an audio cassette.

          In reality, this is much simpler than it was in the old days (at least for CD listening) - when you had to record everything manually in real-time using a cassette recorder.

          So

    • With vinyl, cassettes and CDs there was a certain standard that meant if you bought music you could use it pretty much anywhere.

      And yet I find myself maintaining two cassette decks and two turntables to play what I've got as it was meant to be played.

      At least I don't have cylinders.

      With a "media" player all you have to do is update the software/codecs. Restrictions on this are purely economic/political.

      KFG
    • Digital music is a rough market to be in.

      Is it really though, or are particular business models involving digital music the real problem?

      Let me elaborate. The model iTunes uses is closed and totally dependent upon the major record labels. What they say goes because Apple are simply taking what the record companies provide. Unfortunately, what they say is pretty user unfriendly, and what they say in the future can get even worse - to the point where they could just say "stop selling our music alt

      • What I'm saying is that they have the necessary experience and technology to be the middle-man between the artists and the fans - the job the record companies are supposed to be doing themselves.

        You seem to think that all record companies do is stamp out CDs, with maybe a little promotion. Not true. One of the big thing record companies provide is production values. Not everyone can afford that million dollar studio. Generally, not only does garage music suck, but sounds sucky as well.

        There's a reason

        • You seem to think that all record companies do is stamp out CDs, with maybe a little promotion.

          I think that's their primary purpose and all they are necessary for.

          One of the big thing record companies provide is production values. Not everyone can afford that million dollar studio. Generally, not only does garage music suck, but sounds sucky as well.

          You don't need a million dollar studio to make good music. The technology available cheaply to today's garage bands is better than the technology

          • You don't need a million dollar studio to make good music. The technology available cheaply to today's garage bands is better than the technology used by the Beatles to sell millions of records.

            Yeah, and Count Basie sold millions of scratchy records in the 40s with even more primitive technology. What's your point? Just because something was used back in the dark ages doesn't mean it's acceptable today.

            Define "mainstream popularity". The Arctic Monkeys seems to be doing alright for themselves.

            Shee

            • What's your point? Just because something was used back in the dark ages doesn't mean it's acceptable today.

              Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Beatles' music is still considered to be good music, and is still being bought. If you agree with that, then surely you can agree that music of similar production quality is also commercially viable.

              Sure, the Internet helped them gain some popularity, but as soon as they did, they signed with a real label.

              After becoming a commercial success, including nu

        • You're a bit behind the times. High production values no longer need million dollar studios. And it's not a binary choice between recording in a million dollar studio or recording on a cheap cassette 4-track in the garage. No, production values is no longer a record company selling point.

          So, what do they really do? They "discover" and "develop" talent, then distribute the musical product that issues forth from that talent. (Maybe talent should be in quotes, too?) A big part of talent development is marketin
    • GNapster? (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Hey, Google's business model tends to give away their services for free, as in advertiser supported.

      I'd love to see the RIAA vs GNapster go to court.
    • Because iPods break so easily and silly people reject any kind of extended warranty. Foolish humans!
  • GTunes (Score:1, Funny)

    by imboboage0 ( 876812 )
    GTunes? Isn't that like a stolen stereo in a Cadillac?
  • by Prophetic_Truth ( 822032 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @06:30PM (#15853550)
    filetype:mp3
    • by ronkronk ( 992828 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @06:59PM (#15853630) Journal
      Stop wasting time!
      ext:mp3
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Google doesn't index them anymore. Afaics they stopped over a year ago. I've done an experiment creating multiple sites with good content and uniquely keyworded .mp3 files as immediate leaf nodes. (The files are legal content owned by myself) 9 months later, nothing, nada, zitch, completely and absolutely jack on Google.

        The logs show the Google spider hitting them, scores of times.

        I leave the speculation to the reader, but those are the facts.

        More than 70 or 80% of all the ext:mp3 references that Google doe
    • Ya know, lately I got a few files with a file extension "m3p". No music, was supposed to contain design studies made by $WHATEVER CAD program. I tried to find out how to open it, asked google for "filetype m3p", and all I got was links to mp3 sites and clever hints: if you don't want your mp3 files on webservers to be deleted, rename them to m3p. Great. Actually, it was pretty much impossible to find about that extension because you get just dragged to mp3 hits all over. Finally, I asked the guy who mailed
  • by chriss ( 26574 ) * <chriss@memomo.net> on Saturday August 05, 2006 @06:31PM (#15853554) Homepage

    Several years ago everybody was going portal. Every search engine added shopping, communities, finance tips, travel, free mail account and tried to lure users into spending as much time as possible on their site as possible to get their cash and more cash from advertisers.

    Then came Google with a simple interface and did one thing: search. And basically everything Google released since then was build around search. Even the videos. But music is very hierarchically organized: Artist - Album - Track. You seldom have to search for something, maybe you'll use Google to search for the lyrics if you cannot remember the name of the track.

    Now everybody predicting that Google will go into music just falls into the portal trap. Hey, they did search, they have news, they do mail, so they must aim to become a portal, hence they will try to do everything and so they must want to do music.

    Think: Google = search. If the product does not fit, there is no way to make money from it for Google and they won't do it (there will always be exceptions, but that is the general rule so far).

    • by generic-man ( 33649 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @06:36PM (#15853573) Homepage Journal
      Google abandoned the "Google = search" idea long ago. Since Google makes 99% of its revenue from advertising, they've been diversifying the way they can serve you ads. How is a beta Jabber server "search"? How is a JavaScript map client "search"? (Sure you can "search" for businesses, but the results are pretty unreliable.) How is a JavaScript spreadsheet program "search"?
      • How is a beta Jabber server "search"?

        Well, isn't that obvious? Text messaging and text ads based on the content of the message? Just like ads in Google Mail? And btw, "beta" is googlish for "we have not yet found how to make money from it", see years of news in beta due to the problem how not to piss of the news providers.

        How is a JavaScript map client "search"? (Sure you can "search" for businesses, but the results are pretty unreliable.)

        Replace "search" with "find". I "find" a lot of locations/remar

        • Good, that's almost believable. Now do the same thing for the rest of the Google services [google.com], and don't forget to speculate on all the alpha products [google.com] like you've already done for Spreadsheets.

          By the way, Google News is out of beta. How did they find a way to make money off it? Last I heard they were paying money to keep News running [slashdot.org], earning nothing.
          • Good, that's almost believable.

            Wasn't that hard.

            Now do the same thing for the rest of the Google services, and don't forget to speculate on all the alpha products like you've already done for Spreadsheets.

            You wish. How about using your own brain and see if you can find something search related for every service they provide?

            I did it for some of them [slashdot.org]. I also commented there that I did not claim that Google only does search, but that everything they do revolves around search, because that's what they m

            • I always thought their "main business focus" was selling advertising. But it turns out that they actually have three main areas of interest. From their quarterly report [yahoo.com]:

              Overview

              Google is a global technology leader focused on improving the ways people connect with information. Our innovations in web search and advertising have made our web site a top Internet destination and our brand one of the most recognized in the world. Our mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessi

              • You wonder why is it that letter-writers do not quote large portions of whatever it is they are replying to, but I would argue that they do. However, the norm for doing this, is to paraphrase and include whatever pertinent quotes are required to address whatever your concern is with the post. Furthermore, the USENET quoting method is highly functional, and especially for unthreaded conversations between multiple readers and writers, it helps to remember who said what.

                Although all of this is pretty far a

      • Yep, that's true. How is a calendar program "search?" But, as you said, Google is now about getting advertisers. If they get into the music business, that is a different can of worms than selling ads, as there's not much they can advertise to music customers besides more music, whereas their other products for the most part allow the google engine to gather relevant data for more efficient ad placement.
      • "How is a beta Jabber server "search"?"

        - you search for people

        "How is a JavaScript map client "search"?"

        - you search for directions

        "How is a JavaScript spreadsheet program "search"?"

        - Like they've shown with mail, people like to be able to search spreadsheets too.

        If you're wondering what THIS points to, it's that google isn't really profitting in helping you find anything, they profit from having the communicative and buisness discourse of normal society indexed, even if it's only currently scanned to prese
    • Think: Google = search. If the product does not fit, there is no way to make money from it for Google and they won't do it...

      That was definitely once true, but I'm not sure it is any more. Google has branched out a considerable amount in recent times, way beyond its core product (searching).

      e.g.:
      • Picasa
      • Google Alerts
      • Google Checkout
      • Google Desktop [Google Desktop is a lot more than just Desktop search]
      • Google Earth
      • Google Finance
      • Google Web accelerator
      • Blogspot
      • Google Calendar
      • Google Spreadsheet
      • Gma
        • I don't know Picasa, Checkout, Finance, Web accelerator, and Talk
        • Alerts, GMail and Blogspot are simply more text search with ads.
        • I'm not sure about ads and Desktop (don't use it), but the link to search is rather obvious. The fact that it does more will get more people to use it.
        • Earth (and maps) allow you to find locations and allow others to add comments and Google to accept paid ads again. "Where is the next supermarket/gas station?" is a very valuable question. SketchUp is a tool to get more pe
    • maybe you've been sleeping, but they've been expanding into other territories. orkut, finance, mail, chat, usenet, news, checkout, googlebase/froogle, blogger, calendar, photos, maps, video, writely, etc. etc.

      Some of those are search-related, but they were also search-related when yahoo!/netscape/msn/etc did them 5 years ago.

    • The portal idea isn't bad, just nobody has done it right. The problem is everybody wants to host your portal and everything related, when really it should be more like a single page app running locally pulling remote content.

      Imagine an interface like slashdot but instead of submitted stories, its aggregated RSS. Sidebars? RSS headlines, simple web-scraped "status" pages, etc. Throw in a quick IMAP checker.. Really, theres no reason you should have to load 5-6 different pages to check for updates, you should
      • I don't think smarter tech would make the problems of portals go away. The problem with portals is that the business model is to do everything for everyone. In the consequence there would be only one portal that fits everybody. Now if eg. you want to compete with Yahoo!, you have to offer everything that they offer, or else you will not be able to lure their customers away. You end up with a lot of sites that are basically copies of one another, so they add more features to become more attractive. Unfortuna

        • by generic-man ( 33649 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @07:52PM (#15853769) Homepage Journal
          Didn't you hear? Google's making a Web OS! You click an invite in Gmail, the meeting goes on your Gcalendar, you can view and collaborate on the spreadsheets with Google Spreadsheets, and you can hold the meeting via a teleconference using Google Talk!

          Oh, but then Firefox crashes under the burden of all that JavaScript. It's okay. Most of that stuff is still in alpha or beta, so it's not Google's fault.
  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @06:42PM (#15853589) Journal

    I prefer the Yahoo service over iTunes. The subscription model is more to my taste than purchasing. A lot of times though, I remember a snatch of lyrics, and you can't search for snippets of lyrics on Yahoo. Where do I turn? Google of course, to find the name of the song and/or band. Then I search to see if Yahoo has them. An integrated "snippet of lyrics" search for Yahoo music would be good. After I post this, I'll have to check to see if somebody has written a plugin that mashups these features into Yahoo music. If it exists, cool, but I've had trouble with Yahoo plugins crapping out. Google should partner with the other services to offer enhanced music search capabilities. It would play to their core competancy.

  • by Null Nihils ( 965047 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @06:49PM (#15853605) Journal
    I'm surprised anyone would think Google would want to be a music store. It doesn't really fit their methods and style. Google is not a retailer, they do not take content from a commercial third-party and distribute it, with markup, to consumers. This is nothing like how they currently make their billions.

    I have no doubt the minds at Google have thought of how to use music content, but I suspect one of the reasons they aren't jumping in right away is because, to put it lightly, the RIAA folks are not pleasant people to share a market with.

    In my estimation, if Google were to focus on music content, it might be something like Google Video, only taken to the next level somehow; Perhaps it would be an advanced form of Internet radio, where each user gets a personalized stream of the music they like, and Google uses their context and marketing technology to make a tidy profit off of the millions of attentive ears. And of course, the music content they included would have to be free...
    • You mean google hasn't been taking ads from commercial 3rd parties and redistributing them on other websites for profit? Color me surprised.
      • You mean google hasn't been taking ads from commercial 3rd parties and redistributing them on other websites for profit?

        That's called selling advertising (to commercial customers), it has nothing to do with selling content to consumers, retail-style.
    • Perhaps it would be an advanced form of Internet radio, where each user gets a personalized stream of the music they like, and Google uses their context and marketing technology to make a tidy profit off of the millions of attentive ears.
      Pandora [pandora.com] beat them to it. I suppose they could always buy out the Music Genome Project . . .
      • Pandora beat them to it.

        Google wasn't first to market with Web search, or online maps, either. They just managed to do it better.
        Btw, thanks for the link! Looks interesting. =)
        • Ah, a very good point! Of course, doing Internet Radio better than Pandora does it is hard to imagine. But, then again, if anyone could do it, Google could. I have a feeling this will be a long way down the road. Sooner or later, people are gonna get fed up with the RIAA and MPAA and, even in a fake democracy, people oughta get what they want once in awhile. Once the RIAA are dogs without teeth (hope and pray, people), then Google will have a chance to wow us with their ideas about music.
    • It is almost as if you didn't hear about the Google Store, You can buy google lava lamps, google gum, google shirts, yep http://www.googlestore.com/ [googlestore.com]
    • In an ideal situation there would be thousands music selling services out there, in much the same way that there are lots and lots of book retailers in the world. In that kind of scenario, Google could act as a sort of directory or a froogle for music that lets you find a particular artist's music for sale in the format you want. They could charge for referrals and skim 2-3c off of every transaction for their services.

      That'd be nice, but it's unlikely to happen too soon, as we're stuck with a slew of dif
    • Google is not a retailer, they do not take content from a commercial third-party and distribute it, with markup, to consumers.
      Open any Gmail mailbox and observe commercial third-party emails (ch3ap s0ftw4res, fre3 m0r7gage) distributed, with markup (labeled Spam), to consumers.
      *ducks*
  • Is it just me, or does Google seem to be overextending itself?
    • I dunno ... all the services that Google keeps offering all play off their existing software and technological base. By NOT trying to jump on the "digital music revolution" it seems like they're trying to not overextend themselves.
    • Is it just me, or does Google seem to be overextending itself?

      On the contrary, they stick fairly close to their core competency compared to certain other tech companies. Plus, I'd hardly call what they're doing "overextending" when they have a $100 billion market capitalization.

      That they deny being enticed by the idea of selling music online is a good sign IMO, it means they don't need to try to grab a piece of every pie that has anything to do with the word "Internet".

  • by ronkronk ( 992828 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @07:05PM (#15853646) Journal
    that a half-baked story predicting that Google will enter the wireless provider market in order to support the foray into their online music business. GMusic store will allow you search 7 billion recordings using lyrics, instruments used, and sound patterns.

    Also, in 3 to 6 months Microsoft will apologize to their employees, customers, and vendors for falling so far behind as an MVNP and music distributor. But Balmer will commit to catching Apple, Google, and AllOfMp3.com within the next 3 to 4 quarters. It's Microsoft's top priority next to releasing Longhorn, WinFS, security, DRM, the next version of SQL Server, Exchange 2007,.NET,.ORG, ethic, combinatorial global business synergies and leverage points and Windows on the Power PC.

    Lastly, Apple frustrated with the iPOD to car stereo interfaces and refusal by many automobile manufacture to integrate the iPOD directly into their automobiles will purchase an Korean automobile company and begin manufacturing iCars. These cars will include new design innovations including ergonomic steering wheels and see through dash panels. Initially the automobiles will run on Honda gasoline engines, but Jobs will announce in the first 4 years of production that the iCar (and soon to be released iSUV) will switch to Toyota engines that can run on electricity, gasoline, jet-fuel, whiskey, and the sweat of some breeds of Tibetan mountain goats.

    Step aside Dvorak I have spoken.
  • Blame the RIAA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ATMD ( 986401 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @07:12PM (#15853664) Journal
    Google know they can't make it good (Read: no DRM), so they aren't doing it at all.

    Once the music industry finally pulls its finger out, we'll see our gTunes (beta) within a few months.
    • Re:Blame the RIAA (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Null Nihils ( 965047 )
      Once the music industry finally pulls its finger out...

      ...the artists and content creators will have already have routed around them. They won't willingly give up until their heavy-handed, control-freak tactics are no longer profitable.
      • Like they are NOW? They are just too blinded by power to see it. As they always will be. We need the gov to stop hand-holding them (like they do after a nice sized "donation" to the winning candidate...) and the problem will fix itself. But as long as the gov is helping them take out those who don't agree, we will keep seeing this BS on both ends.
    • [commercial] google videos use DRM. Is it good or is it whack?
  • Oppurtunity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by remembertomorrow ( 959064 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @07:21PM (#15853691)
    If I were (one of the guys) in charge of Google, right about now I would be looking to create GMusic, a Google record label.

    Offer fair prices on albums, and offer artists the majority of the profit (aside from what is required for operating expenses).

    With all the piracy/lawsuits/RIAA crap that has been happening lately, I'm pretty sure at least a few major bands would jump at the chance to be part of a less evil label, and consumers would be happier/more inclined to buy from a label that actually supports their artists.
    • Re:Oppurtunity (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @09:18PM (#15853943) Journal
      and offer artists the majority of the profit (aside from what is required for operating expenses).

      Google could probably offer them all the profit, just like they do on uploaded videos, which requires even more bandwidth. I think they have such a profitable adword model by now that they don't even need that with a music service. That would be really interesting to see how it would unfold, especially if going to a music.google.com would let you see weekly promotions, or in traditional Google style, computer automated promotions for the artists most voted for by a community. They'd get a little more visible area on the front page, and a part of their profile there. Artists would feel incentive to make good music, and they'd know they got pretty much all the profit thanks to adwords getting bandwidth costs basically out of the way. I think more than one Internet user would find it interesting. :-)
      • Sorry, I didn't mean you profit on Google Vids (probably looked like that), just that it's free to do that despite vids costing lots of bandwidth for Google. Which would hint that Google wouldn't really need to grab any shares of music profits.
    • If they did, it would be a very very interesting situation. Most upstart labels don't have the cash to even come close to competing with the Top Five, but Google might. It would be a mammoth expenditure of cash initially but by the time they got it up and running (and got a few major anti-DRM artists on their side) the world might be ready for it. Cool idea. Doubt we'll ever see it happen though.
  • Very suspicious... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheRon6 ( 929989 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @07:25PM (#15853702)
    If they're not looking into getting into the digital music market, what was the head of business development doing at the annual National Association of Recording Merchandisers conference? Sounds kinda shifty to me. :-P
    • what was the head of business development doing at the annual National Association of Recording Merchandisers conference? Sounds kinda shifty to me.

      Uh, he was asked to speak at the conference?
  • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @07:27PM (#15853710) Journal
    They're really about providing free advertising funded services. Search is free. gmail is free. Groups are free. Presumably they don't want to deal with the inconvenience of paying consumer customers, who after paying a few dollars want everything. Business customers pay a lot more and are no more demanding.
  • Their main goal is making everything searchable. Going into Digital Music Sales would mean nothing for them. Unlike microsoft, which pokes its nose everywhere google has well defined goals. Or perhaps they have something great to work on. It's always a surprise.
  • by jjeffries ( 17675 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @08:00PM (#15853783)
    I would like to formally announce that I, jjeffries, user #17675, will also not be entering the digital music sales market. I feel that it would detract from my primary function of making realistic Hitleresque mustaches from leftover bicycle handlebar tape.

    thank you,
    jjeffries
    user #17675
  • I Don't Believe It (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stevemm81 ( 203868 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @08:10PM (#15853805) Homepage
    I don't believe this. Why would Google send one of their top execs to give a speech at an organization of music retailers saying they have no interest in selling music?

    If you read the article, there are some interesting points where Sacca argues Google is already in the music business, meaning that when people hear about an artist or song, they search for it on Google. It seems like what they're saying is "we get a ton of traffic that we can easily identify of people who seem likely to buy music, we're not interested in building a music store because we know from Google Video we can't design stores, you guys sell music... maybe YOU can make a Google music store, and pay us a little sumthin sumthin."
    • I'm guessing this has a possibility of working much like when they announced that they wouldn't be making an instant messaging client, or even handling email.
    • maybe YOU can make a Google music store, and pay us a little sumthin sumthin."

      Like maybe they could buy adwords from Google when someone searches for music?

      Nah, too obvious. Too easy. There's got to be a more complicated and far fetched explanation.
  • by cmacb ( 547347 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @08:35PM (#15853858) Homepage Journal
    Google, unlike Microsoft does not suffer from Mr. Creosote syndrome (that nagging sensation that if anyone else is making money on a particular product or service, then you should be too). Google could stay busy for a good number of years with the irons they already have in the fire. Microsoft had better shed a few more pounds (I'm being polite) before they dine again. They have plenty on their plate already too.
  • by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @09:12PM (#15853929) Journal
    The music industry is in the middle of a revolution still (and they don't want to be in it :-p), and I think more than one Google exec may have been happy they didn't get into this business when they're now starting to see the crap Apple is starting to get, about e.g using DRM at least as much for anticompetitive practices as reducing listening rights, in a sort of an unholy alliance between their corporation and the music industry.

    The only way I think Google could get in and win would be if they made a nice little site for indie musicians, completely staying clear of anything labelled Shakira, Backstreet Boys, or that young, rich lady that played with her boobs and sucked a penis on a video tape.

    If they made something clever there, things could be interesting. Like giving uploading bands/musicians a profile page, their albums, songs, and downloads, and let them either release them as e.g. a Creative Commons license (most "free"), a free but copyrighted license, or if wishing to go commercial, for a custom fee where 95%+ went to the artists (Google could probably finance most of their bandwidth on adwords like on Google Videos). Then build a community around that where you can discuss and support the artists on forums on their respective pages, and have top lists, etc. Have monthly/weekly featured artists in different genres.

    I mean, a service to pretend RIAA don't exist and just let musicians get promoted Google's ways without a need for music companies. I think I would check out such a service. :-)
    • I think this is mostly right, but really not saying what I hope more people are thinking - Google could, if it chose to, upend the music industry. No company has a better situation already to do it - *payment system*, servers, storage, processing power, and bandwidth to offer the fully (*ahem*) legal equivalent of AllofMp3.com in the US.

      As Jugalator says, if Google moves forward and allows musicians to upload their own music and sells directly to the public - say even if they take 30+% of the sales price -
      • I agree. I know that I, as a musician, would love to have a outlet that would allow me to dictate exactly how my music was distributed at the first selling point. I would sign up for a Google Music Store in an instant.
      • The problem is that once music is "sold" without restrictive DRM, it can no longer be sold - it will be redistributed on the Internet. Via web pages hosted in Eastern European countries. Via P2P applications. Via BitTorrent. Whatever. It doesn't matter - the idea of the artist being able to control distribution is pretty much dead.

        The artists just aren't going to get paid, period.

        We need to figure out if that is where we want society to be. I think just about everyone that has ever downloaded "free" m
  • I think any other fellow StartupSchool alumns reading this would agree that he gave one of the best talks of the day back in April.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I would just like to find a legit service that provides high quality audio. If Google went the music route and provided that, I would be a customer. I don't understand how people can listen or at least expect to pay the amount they do of the music that comes off of itunes, buying 128 bit audio files that come out to the price of a cd you can find online or in store isn't worth it.
  • Pandora. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gwd ( 820453 ) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @11:57PM (#15854255)
    If Google were to get into the music business at all, something along the lines of Pandora, or maybe even satellite radio, would make more sense. The ability to search and listen to any music that is to your liking and fine tune those searches as you go.
  • What's Google's Business Plan. It's lifetime goal and purpose.

      It's INDEXING every bit of INFORMATION on the Internet. HTML, Text files, music media, video media, binary files, products, news, xml, rss, etc, etc.

    • >>What's Google's Business Plan. It's lifetime goal and purpose.

      It's INDEXING every bit of INFORMATION on the Internet. HTML, Text files, music media, video media, binary files, products, news, xml, rss, etc, etc.>>

      Thats like saying your razor company's lifetime goal and purpose is making the very best balanced razor handle that is known to man. Google's business plan has very little to do with indexing and very much to do with serving up advertising. Indexing is just a way for them to get con
  • Google has the good sense to look at a market where "there can be only one" (thanks to DRM) and currently there is one, and realize it's a bad idea to enter.

    Microsoft on the other hand is not content if there is any field of human endevour at whcih they are not "the top of the heap" and persue it at all costs without stopping to think if perhaps time or careful thought might solve a problem better than money.
  • I had enough of those Gthings.
  • IMHO, all none of the possible reasons discussed here hold any ground. The truth is, Google has so much money, they can do anything they want.
    The real reason for them not entering the music market is extremely dumb - Larry or Sergey (I forget which, maybe both) hate it when people listen to music while they work. That's the ONLY reason whey they haven't done anything in the music market.
  • by Strolls ( 641018 ) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @06:58AM (#15854746)
    Of course Google won't SELL music - the only thing that Google sells is advertising.

    But am I the only person here who read TFA and noticed the word "sell"? What was Google doing at the annual conference of the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, anyway? It would be far more in line with Google's search business to have a gTunes "music search" engine, where bands can upload their own music and fans can search for it for free. Wouldn't that seem far more like a "proven" and "web 2.0" concept in the light of YouTube and Google Video?

    Wouldn't it be more like Google to use their gpay online payment system to "enable" bands to sell music themselves, direct to the consumer? Or for bands to receive a payment for every song downloaded that has had a catchy advertising jingle appended to the end? Local radio has already established that listeners will suffer listening to advertising in exchange for their favourite music (god alone knows why!), and Google's advertising could be far better targeted.

    Apple must have made a massive investment in administrative infrastructure negotiating with record labels and establishing contracts and DRM that they can all live with - that was all necessary in order to bring convenient online ordering of already popular artists to their portable music player. But Google has no investment in the status quo here, and isn't interested in selling iPods - it would be far more convienient to them to have a standard "publishers agreement" and terms of service open to anyone with a Google account. Any wannabe rock-star can then sign up and upload their own MP3s, Google is a "common carrier" and just like eBay they can pull the account of anyone selling music they receive an infringement complaint about.

    Despite the number of assertions I read about increasing record sales in the last few years associated with P2P users discovering bands (I don't know whether this is a long-term trend over the last decade, or just a statement that was just thrown around during Napster's height?) nothing that has occurred involving music and the internet has followed the model that the traditional music publishing industry is comfortable with. I don't see why Google should be any different, and I don't see why they should ignore music, seeing as how they've already taken an interest in books and video.

    Stroller.

  • I predict that Google will take up the fight with bookspot, sonicspot, gourmetspot, blogspot, f-spot, teenspot, sciencespot, wetspot, botspot, and findyourspot by creating the all mighty GSpot.

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