Google is readying a music download store described by Android boss Andy Rubin as having “a little twist” to the concept, as the search giant continues to challenge Apple and Amazon. The upcoming music service will not only have the support of the record labels but “will have a little twist … a little Google in it” Rubin teased. “It won’t just be selling 99 cent tracks.”
Speaking to AllThingsD, Rubin characterized the challenges of getting piracy-cautious music labels to agree to cloud services as one of sufficiently communicating exactly what Google had in mind. “Google is in the very very early phases of adding consumer products to our portfolio,” he highlighted, going on to suggest that “the media industry didn’t see us as that. They saw us a search company.”
Google already has its Google Music cloud streaming system, launched in beta earlier this year, but so far doesn’t offer users the chance to buy tracks. Instead, they can upload their existing music to the service and then stream it to their computers and mobile devices. There have been hints of an upcoming music store but Google was reportedly struggling in negotiations with labels, particularly over their demands to pull search results that linked to sources of pirated content and downloads.
With a music store, meanwhile, Google could better challenge Apple, which has both iTunes and the recently launched iCloud streaming service, part of iOS 5 and OS X Lion. Interestingly, Apple has just approved a third-party gMusic [iTunes link] app for iOS, evolver.fm reports, allowing Google Music users to access their cloud-based library on their iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.