Technology.am (Oct. 21, 2009) — Previously this year, Google launched an iTunes-style music download service in China. The entire music was free of charge. Now, Techcrunch says a US launch of a Google music service is forthcoming. Can it be free of charge, too? Uncertain, isn’t it?
Google’s by now got a respectable music search engine in place, and they’ve got abundance of knowledge designing iTunes-like client apps similar to Picasa, however let’s not get in front of ourselves—we don’t yet recognize what this thing is, how it’ll be supported, what type of content it’ll contain, or how much it’ll charge. Think about their Chinese service, Top100.cn: The free, all-you-can-eat model makes logic there, where download piracy rates come near 100% and music industry revenues, in spite of enormous listenership, don’t still touch $90 million dollars. In that context, Google’s likely $14.6 million in ad revenue counts as a triumph.
Nevertheless here, the music industry sees ten billion dollars surpass throughout its hands on an annually basis, and people still (occasionally!) shell out for music. Even pretentious higher per-click ad values, it’s hard to notice how Google might now offer complete downloads out at no cost. Perhaps it might stream, like Spotify? Or, you know, just trade music, like iTunes? Techcrunch doesn’t appear to have much in the means of leads on this, but they leave it here.