Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Google and Music: Rumors swirling

Discussed in this post: Google rumors, Napster's reputation, Google's purchase motivation.

The rumor-of-the-day is that Google is going to buy Napster. For a while, I've thought that music is a great big gaping hole in the Google offering. Google stumbling around with music a little while ago, originally offering free ad space to download-sites (although, now, I can't seem to find those links. Maybe they backed off this? It was a weird idea to begin with).

This is certainly a smoke:fire issue. Even if Google is not looking at Napster, it is entirely likely that they are looking to field their own music service. Right now, a decision to search for a song (either on the Internet or on the desktop) would take a user to iTunes, not to Google. That situation is clearly counter to the Google strategy to be the fulcrum point between you and information.

I think there's a shred of credibility to the Napster purchase rumor, simply because of Napster's history. Google makes decision partly based on business issues, partly based on cultural issues. There are probably some people inside Google who really hate to see once proud Napster being reduced to pitching products like everyone else. Google may fancy themselves as a rescuer of the Napster brand.
Save This Page


Post a Comment

<< Home