Google Music gets its groove
Los Angeles - Google stepped onto the internet music stage on Wednesday, unveiling a service for finding, listening to or buying songs online.
Google announced an alliance with Lala.com and MySpace-owned iLike at Capitol Records headquarters in Los Angeles that could cut down on the number of mouse clicks it takes to sample or purchase a song on the web.
"We are very excited today to be introducing a music search feature," Google vice president of search Marissa Mayer said before a demonstration of the new music service known as OneBox.
"The search results will allow you to do a whole song play to verify it is the song you are looking for," she said, rather than just the 30-second stream typical of most major online music providers.
Google music search lets people search using song artists, titles, and even snippets of lyrics.
Google began rolling out OneBox on Wednesday, with availability limited to the United States.
"I think this is a game-changing thing Google has done," said Wendy Nussbaum of Universal Music Group. "The key thing for us is you are leading people to legitimate sources of music. Consumers want something easy, and Google gives them that."
MP3 downloads of songs
A pop-up widget powered by iLike or Lala instantly appears with OneBox search results and offers to play the sought-after song.
The MySpace box also provides links to buying MP3 downloads of songs, matching music videos and upcoming concerts by artists, if any are planned.
"Music on Google; how cool is that?" said iLike founder Ali Partovi, now a senior vice president at MySpace, which bought his company just weeks ago.
Partovi described OneBox as "something where everyone is a winner and no one is a loser - the consumer, rights holders, artists, us, that is amazing."
Google said it is not getting any share of revenues made by the music services, which have money-sharing deals with artists and record labels behind the content.
At least one mainstream music act has given the early thumbs up to the new Google service and its hookup with iLike and Lala.
"Being involved with this made total sense," said Ryan Tedder, lead singer of the band One Republic.
Tedder promoted One Republic on MySpace after the band was dropped by its label. One Republic is now an international sensation, and its debut album Dreaming Out Loud has gone platinum - in large part due to strong online promotion, according to Tedder.
"If it wasn't for MySpace and the internet, we wouldn't be here," he said.