GOOGLE GOES TO THE CLOUD
Here’s industry pundit Bob Leftsetz on brick and mortar retail stores:
They sell souvenirs. It’s about the packaging more than the music. … Vinyl does sound better, but the future is better digital files, not an antiquated system.
BAM, nailed it.
With that in mind, let’s shift the attention once again to all-you-can-eat streaming services. Google took a step in that direction today, following Amazon’s lead, by announcing their own cloud service, Google Music Beta. Google Music Beta will allow users to upload music to a “personal storage locker” and to stream it from any PC or Android device. Like the Amazon Cloud, there’s a limit — users are limited to uploading 20,000 songs — and like Amazon Cloud, Google has not asked for rights from content copyright holders (record labels and publishers), arguing (rightly so, IMO) that playing one’s personal music collection for oneself does not require licensing rights like terrestrial or online radio services do.
Google is in a much better position than Amazon to break this technology through to the mainstream. Although they don’t have the built-in music store — a big tilt in Amazon’s favor — they do have the world’s #1 search engine, a widely-used email platform and YouTube, all of which they can use to leverage and integrate Google Music Beta. And they’ve had a music service in the rumor mill for years now… it’s only a matter of time.
Imagine it, people: the ability to stream any track EVER from anywhere, any time you want, in high quality. It’s coming. Are you ready to ditch your flimsy physical “souvenirs”?