Google has reportedly begun testing its much anticipated streaming music service and rumors are it’s practically ready to launch.
To be sure, employees at Google have begun "dog-fooding," or testing the service internally, which indicates a close launch date.
Unlike iTunes, Google Music is slated to be a streaming service accessed by web-enabled devices, much like Grooveshark or Pandora.
Just recently, someone at the XDA Developer’s forum claimed to have discovered the Google Music service after installing Honeycomb on his Android device.
But sources say the one thing delaying the new service s the lack of music licensed to Google, as negotiations are still ongoing between Mountain View and record labels.
The hold up? Google is after cloud music rights and not just individual song or album licensing.
Streaming music is primarily a subscription-based monthly program, allowing listeners to tune into their favorite music whenever they want. This cloud version of music consumption might not be as lucrative as the pay-per iTunes model currently dominating the space, hence the hold up in negotiations.
According to Bloomberg, the same major labels are in discussions with Apple about a similar cloud music system store on third-party servers rather than one’s personal computer.
Regardless of the details, we can expect Google in the music space within the near future, offering new competition for iTunes. This could mean major bucks for music execs who hope to cash in on the fierce competition between the two mega companies.
Don’t forget, Google isn’t a total noob when it comes to digital music; the company is responsible for YouTube, which has become a super popular way to listen to and share new songs.