Will Google Music be the new biggest addition to the music industry or the biggest upcoming flop of the 21rst century? Whatever you believe the ultimate fate of Google Music to be you must admit they are off to a good start. Users of Google Music were able to get their first glimpse on Wednesday and the public relations had Billboard and other industry experts talking up the launch for months. The most interesting part will see how they try to integrate the benefits of Google Music to attract users to Google Plus. Google Plus’s largest competitor, Facebook, has chosen to integrate music in a much different way. Instead of only sharing songs on Google Plus that were accessed through Google Music, Facebook announced its partnership on September 22nd with the largest digital streaming services to automatically share music habits with Facebook users. I believe the Facebook approach will work better because I feel Facebook is simply marrying the most successful streaming services and the most successful social network, while Google is attempting to attract users to a new social network with a new music service. Although the partnership route may have been more effective for music sharingthrough Google, there was a few areas where Google most certainly got it right.
First of all, Google realized the strength of its competitors, like I-tunes, and noticed that they had to do something fundamentally different to get any attention in the music market. So, the company has secured various exclusive never before heard songs of legacy rock groups as well as a whole collection of free music from major artists. The free and exclusive music makes Google Music stand out as something which other music competitors have not been able to do yet. Another interesting inclusion is the surprise of the Artists Hub. The concept of the artist’s hub is that independent (unsigned) artists will be able to sell their music through Google Music directly as oppose to going through a CDBaby or similar service. However, I feel the fatal flaw to this is that they charge a flat thirty dollar fee in order for independent artists to start selling their music. I feel Google does not understand the independent market because I would bet most artists would refuse the charge. Whatever the final outcome, last Wednesday definitely marked a new day in how music is marketed online.