If you can’t build it but have the money to license it, buy the company that already built it and has a lot of users. CNET’s Greg Sandoval reports today that Google “is considering whether to partner with an existing service, including the likes of Spotify, to power Google Music.”
Today’s news came in sync with another recent questionable action by Google, in which they dumped the Grooveshark app from Android a few months after Apple did the same thing. It behooves both services to eliminate access to a growing competitor with a YouTube-like service for music, especially if you own YouTube.
Google seems to have all the necessary components to compete with Apple, so why can’t Google get it together? With all these rumors, maybe it’s time to reinforce the NDA signed by Google Music employees.
Google Music is a publicity mess right now. In less than two weeks they’ve been to Capitol Hill to testify about piracy, been called out by their former ally the EFF, and leaked news about negotiations with Spotify.
And don’t forget that Android test market Google music leak which was promptly removed by Google, but not before bloggers, twitterers and facebook sharers had a chance spread the news, with screenshots.
Apple and Google may be competing to release a top notch streaming service, but Apple has been in the music business for almost ten years and is no stranger to Google’s mess, though not due to a leaky staff. Just five years ago Apple stores were enduring organized protests against DRM. Emusic was DRM free, a huge selling point at the time. Apple was the “bad guy” and still became the home to 85% of all paid digital music downloads.
Now it’s Google’s turn, and it might be worse than the anti DRM protests of 2006.
Grooveshark won’t go away quietly, which might be a recognizable circumstance to the 2007 team at Pandora Media. In 2007 Internet Radio royalty changes turned Pandora’s passionate user base into a political machine, rendering one of the greatest accidental marketing plans in digital music history. Perceived vilification of a beloved product is great publicity for the beloved product.
Rumors Beget Rumors Beget Rumors Begets STFU
In addition to bringing more press to Grooveshark and inspiring fans of the product to take action, the rumors about Google Music’s internal problems are rumored to be vast.
Details about talks breaking down with labels leaked two weeks ago. But wait, there’s more. Google Music is rumored to have bypassed the normal arduous hiring process for the music team (no IQ testing, minimum GPA requirements, or other hoops typically required of Google staff) which is also rumored to be causing internal strife between teams, including YouTube.
It has been rumored that the YouTube team is opposed to the music team’s plans, and is quietly planning their own music release. It will be difficult to keep plans quiet in the midst of congressional testimony, removing an app with passionate fans, dealing with the EFF over music issues, and negotiating with labels while trying to talk to “an existing service” like Spotify, Rdio or Mog.
All while keeping your search results unbiased.
Welcome to the fray, Google.
Corey’s always happy to hear more rumors, you can find her at firstname.lastname@example.org