Thursday, October 20, 2011

Google Music's 'twist' is likely a social feature

CNET - Google's Music Beta may see a sister 
service that enables users to buy songs and then 
share them with friends. (Credit: Google Music Beta)

Lots of people in the music industry believe they know what kind of new “twist” Google has planned for the company’s upcoming download store.

Android chief Andy Rubin made news earlier today at the All Things Digital AsiaD conference by confirming reports that Google plans to launch an MP3 store to compliment the company’s cloud-music service. And he piqued interest by adding this: Google’s offering will “have a little twist–it will have a little Google in it.”

Multiple music industry sources told CNET that Google has spoken to the major record companies and some of the top independent labels about offering a “social recommendation” feature, which would enable a buyer of an MP3 to give that song as a gift as long as the person receiving it is a user of Google Music.

The recipient could listen to the song once, but should the person receive the same song from someone else, they could listen to it again. The number of times a person could listen to a song this way would be capped at two. The social recommendation feature is the only one that Google has discussed with the music companies that could be classified as a new twist, said the sources.

A Google spokeswoman declined to comment.            More