Google readies music service to take on Apple

Google is to make its first major move into music with a service that allows users to store their tracks online in the cloud and play them remotely on a number of devices.

Google will soon be able to sell songs from artists such as the Beatles

The service will be similar to Apple’s iTunes Match, which scans a user’s computer for all their music files – regardless of whether they were illegally downloaded or ripped from CDs – and uploads them online to be legally listened to remotely.

Andy Rubin, head of development at Google’s mobile arm Android, told a conference in Hong Kong yesterday (19 October) that the service will have “a little twist…a little Google in it”. He added that Google wouldn’t “just be selling 99 cent tracks”.

Rubin did not elaborate on what the “little twist” might be but it is understood Google will sell songs via an online store, similar to iTunes, but also allow users to store tracks on its already live cloud service Music Beta.

Google has signed deals with music label EMI and is in talks with several other majors including Universal, Sony Music and Warner Music to allow the search giant to stream their artists’ tracks, according to reports.

The service could launch as soon as next month, although it is likely it will be available in the US before it comes to the UK.

Google recently undertook a major restructure that saw its UK managing director Matt Brittin moved up to a European role and replaced by the company’s European marketing head Dan Cobley.

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