The folks at Google have always been a mysterious bunch. What goes on behind the doors of their Northern California headquarters is shrouded in mystery, and we only get to find out when they’re ready to show us. Word on the street though, is that the company who revolutionized so much about how the Internet works is wanting to join the digital music party.
If Google’s rumored music service does come to fruition, they’ll be entering a market that could be already on the verge of saturation. There’s already Spotify, Pandora, Amazon, iTunes, Slacker, and many, many more services and sites that offer digital music content. So how would Google compete in that market?
Some Kind of Music “Matching” Service – Apple dropped a game changer on the industry when they announced their “iTunes Match” service. When it goes live, for a relatively small fee customers can have every song, in their personal catalog streamed to them from iTune’s massive library. If Google doesn’t offer some kind of variation on this, they can count themselves out before they even get up to the plate.
Your Music Anywhere You Want – Utilizing “cloud” paradigms, Google needs to give their user base a way to get access to their purchased music anywhere, on any device. It’s becoming a vital feature for services like Spotify and Apple’s own iCloud. People want to have a way to get at their content without it being physically stored on their phones or tablets.
Huge Variety of Content – The licensing gurus at Google better make sure that at the very least their customers have access to the same amount of content as Amazon, iTunes and Spotify. Maybe they should figure out a way to get some artist exclusivity to make themselves more attractive.
Price it Right – Okay, maybe the price isn’t a “feature” so much as a marketing tool. However, if Google can’t figure out a way to get the prices of their tracks and albums in the same ball park, if not slightly lower, there really won’t be much incentive to go with them over their competitors.
Easy Integration into Existing Google Products – What made iTunes so great is that integrated perfectly with iPods and iPhones. Spotify links in perfectly with Facebook, making music sharing on the biggest social network on the block seamless. So Google’s going to need to make sure that they make their own music service integrate perfectly with their Gmail, YouTube, and other services.