Google Music To Debut This Year

The Wall Street Journal has the latest scoop on Google’s upcoming music service. The paper reports that Google is set to roll out a download service later this year—though still several months away—and follow that with a subscription offering in 2011. Of course, the service will be linked to the Google’s ubiquitous search engine.

Google Music is expected to integrate with the company’s Android mobile phone operating system. WSJ sources say that the download store would be the first step toward Google’s launch of a cloud-based subscription service which lets users stream music online via the Android system, without having to store it on their phones.

With Apple’s iTunes store accounting for 28% of all U.S. music purchases in the first quarter (NPD Group), some in the entertainment industry are hoping Google will be iTunes’ first viable competitor. After all, the Android is being called the first true competitor to the Apple iPhone.

Meanwhile, rumors abound that Apple has its own cloud-based version of iTunes in the works.

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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