updated 06:25 pm EST, Mon January 31, 2011
Google Music nears release as Apple, Spotify wait
Google's long in progress Google Music service may finally be getting closer to a launch. A scoop on Monday denied claims that it would go live in February but that it was "closer" than before. CNET heard that getting deals for the service, which could include a cloud locker, required making many deals from the ground up and often had labels unsure of how to make them work.
The service as described would allow both pay-per-track and subscriptions. In its ideal form, customers could save their music collections on Google servers and access them from any Android or Chrome OS device to eliminate the need for a large amount of offline storage. It would be platform agnostic but would be a selling point by coming preloaded and fully integrated into Google's own platforms.
Apple's long rumored cloud-based iTunes has grown mostly dormant, the insiders said, but it may be more likely to get traction than Spotify in the US. Despite progress on deals, labels are purportedly holding out on purpose as they would rather see Apple and Google get their cloud services than give Spotify what it wants. Music studios have been resistant to the European provider's mostly free, ad-supported model and prefer paid music.
Numerous major sacrifices are said to have been in the works. On top of having to agree to large cash advances, Spotify is said to have agreed to block free access to significant parts of the music catalog and granting full access only to those who paid for the Premium plan.
None of the involved companies has been willing to comment.