Google is in talks with music labels on plans for a download store and a digital song locker that would allow its mobile users to play songs wherever they're as it steps up its rivalry with Apple. "Google's Andy Rubin has been leading conversations with the labels about what a new Google music service would look like, according to sources. Rubin, who was the brains behind Google's Android mobile operating system, hopes to have the service up and running by Christmas," two of these people said.
Google has yet to sign any licensing deals with major labels, these people say, but it hasn't stopped the labels getting excited about the prospect of its entry to the business and what competition with iTunes could mean for the industry.
"Google has a wealth of data, from YouTube, as well as from search, that can inform on what people are consuming and looking for music wise," said Simon Wheeler, head of digital at London-based independent music company Beggars Banquet.