Google will have an online music service to rival Apple’s iTunes by Christmas, Reuters has reported.
With all the fun of IFA last week, we missed the reports claiming that the man behind Google Android, Andy Rubin, has been talking up Google Music to the music labels and that Google hopes to have it up and running by the end of the year.
A music label executive, who wished to remain anonymous, was excited about the prospect of a Google service finally providing some competition to Apple’s iTunes, which dominates the market with over 70 per cent of the US market.
"Finally here's an entity with the reach, resources and wherewithal to take on iTunes as a formidable competitor by tying it into search and Android mobile platform," said the anonymous source. "What you'll have is a very powerful player in the market that's good for the music business."
It will certainly fill in a missing piece of the puzzle for Android, as the lack of an integrated music service makes it less of a complete offering to Apple’s products, which have been tied closely to iTunes since the first iPod was launched in September 2001.
It would also be logical to assume that any Google service will be cloud based, differentiating it from iTunes, which while recently updated to version 10, remains a client-side offering.
That said, there is no doubt the iTunes will move to the cloud, with Apple’s purchase of remote streaming service Lala and its investment in a billion dollar data centre. Meanwhile Google purchased a remote media streaming company in May called Simplify Media.
Let's not forget Sony, which also announced a cloud based music and video service called Qriosity at IFA last week.
No doubt they will all be watching each other’s moves like a hawk, and so will we.