We recently heard that Google is planning to launch its own MP3 store as part of its Music Beta efforts. Google has notoriously struggled with record labels over its music streaming service, which has been responsible for much of the lag. While Music Beta from Google received ample attention at launch, it’s since had to weather the storm of competitors (Spotify being chief among them) that have stepped up their game in the form of intense Facebook integration and boast-worthy catalogs.
Never one to give up or give in, however, Google is pressing forward. Rumor has it the music store is set to launch this quarter, possibly by Christmas. And for its part, Google is also trying to make itself more attractive to recording artists and their respective management labels. YouTube now includes a variety of features that can allow entertainer’s to promote their brand. The Merch Store allows you to direct followers and fans to buy everything from your concert tickets, t-shirts, and even download your music.
Google is partnering with Topspin and SongKick, as well as iTunes and Amazon for providing downloading services. But clearly Google is intent on eventually moving in-house for music downloads, making YouTubes Merch Store and its yet-to-be named music store a complementary pair.
YouTube’s undergone a significant evolution within the last year. The formerly amateur-friendly site is becoming increasingly professional, and increasingly focused on being a platform to drive profit for its devoted users. It’s long been seen as a funnel for Google TV (another platform that has struggled with content providers) to turn to, but YouTube could also be an option to drive some traffic to a budding MP3 store.