The dominoes seem to be falling into place for Google, as reports are that three of the big 4 music labels are already in place for Google’s music store launch event, which is scheduled for tomorrow.
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Universal, Sony and the recently sold EMI are expected to be on board for the event to be held in Los Angeles, at 2 p.m. PST. The missing link, at least at the time of this writing, appears to be Warner Music Group.
Details of the new Google Music service are still sketchy. The event will be held at the studio of the artist Mr. Brainwash and broadcast live on YouTube’s Android channel YouTube.com/Android.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that pop band Maroon 5 and rapper Drake, who are both signed to Universal Music Group-owned labels, are expected to perform in Los Angeles at an event tied to the announcement.
It is expected that Google will offer their service “with a twist,” the ability for users to share purchased music with their Google+ contacts. It’s unclear how many plays friends will get, but the WSJ believes they will be limited to one or two free listens of the songs. Songs will reportedly be sold for about $1, which is the “sweet spot” for these music stores.
Currently dubbed Music Beta, the service is expected to be renamed Google Music. It’s unclear what changes Google might make if it achieves license deals with all four major labels, but it could move to scan-and-match technology like iTunes Match.
As neither Google’s Music Beta nor Amazon’s Cloud Drive / Cloud Player currently have licensing deals in place with the music labels, users are forced to upload all their music to cloud-based storage. Apple, with its record label deals, can instead match a user’s local music tracks against tracks stored on their servers.
Of course, Apple also charges $24.99 annually for its service, and both Music Beta and Cloud Drive are free.
Music Beta offers free storage for about 20,000 music tracks and synchronization between mobile devices and PCs. The music store that Google is launching is a natural extension of its Android and Web services, though it’s unlikely it will make much of a dent in iTunes’ dominance.