Austin | Dallas | Houston
At least it's free

Google Music challenges Amazon, Apple & Spotify to a fight: And this ain't no Google+ wimp

Enlarge
Image
News_Google Music_Jamie Rosenberg
Google Music has arrived. Will you make any changes to the way you listen to music online? Courtesy of Google

Amazon, Apple, and Spotify, put up your dukes. Google Music has entered the digital entertainment ring, and one of you (or a few of you) best be prepared for a knockout.

Sure, Google has a storied history of mucking up the social aspect of the web. But it wants to right all those wrongs with Google Music.

Want to store up to 20,000 songs that you already own online? Want zero limits placed on the number of tunes you can stream? Want to share the music you've purchased with your friends on the underwhelming Google+?

Google Music wants you to do all of it — for free. Amazon and Apple, eat your subscription-based cloud player hearts out.

"We're the first store that enables users to share their purchased music with their friends," Zahavah Levine, Android's director of content partnerships, told CNET. "This is the single most important way that people discover new music."

 For once, Google Music may actually redefine social sharing, instead of bringing up the rear. Google Music may just be the traditional tech titans' worst nightmare.

 

For once, Google Music may actually redefine social sharing, instead of bringing up the rear. Google Music may just be the traditional tech titans' worst nightmare.

Or is it?

If it is to earn either one of those titles, it has some work to do.

Google Music only allows you to share music on its proprietary platforms, not through existing, larger social networks, as Spotify does. Your intended audience also only gets one shot to play the song you've shared from start to finish, whereas Spotify puts no holds on the number of plays and replays.

Oh, and did we mention that Google Music has secured three of the four major record companies — but its competitors have secured all four? Yeah, Warner Bros. might be a partnership Google wants to secure in the near future, or Google Music's 13 million songs won't be able to compete with the 20 million accessible on Apple's iTunes in this lifetime.

Google Music is in its infancy, and like any fledgling, it will grow, mature, and come into its own. But will it be a viable competitor of the online music services to which we're already so loyal?

Newsletters for exploring your city

Daily Digest

Houston news, views + events

The Dining Report

News you can eat

Insider Offers

Curated experiences at exclusive prices

Promo Alerts

Special offers + exclusive deals

We will not share or sell your email address