Google ups challenge to Apple with Google Music downloads launch

The business world seems to be becoming still more polarised between Apple, which makes and markets everything itself, and Google which is happy to deal with just about anyone.

Now the fight has moved to music with Google launching Google Music, its answer to Apple’s phenomenal iTunes, arguable its most radical product.

Google Music, launched yesterday but only available in the US for now, incorporates a free music streaming service and cloud-based locker able to play music tracks through any web browser or Android-based mobile device.

Google has already signed licensing deals with Vivendi’s Universal Music, Sony Music Entertainment, and EMI. It has also signed hundreds of independent labels and will be able to stream about 13m tracks.

Its main advantage over other cloud-based music services seems to be that users of will be able to upload up to 20,000 songs from their own music collections free and stream them to any Android device.

“Other cloud music services think you have to pay to listen to music you already own,” says Google’s head of digital content Jamie Rosenberg. “We don’t.”

So, just like Android phones and IPhones, Google will have a bigger market share but Apple will make more profit.

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