Google gets its groove on with music search

2009-10-29 10:39

GOOGLE stepped onto the internet music stage yesterday, unveiling a

service for finding, listening to or buying songs online – but it’s not

available in South Africa just yet.

Google announced an alliance with and MySpace-owned iLike

at Capitol Records 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 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,” 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 yesterday, with availability

limited to the United States. Google hopes to find partners in other countries

to take the music model international.

“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


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 provides links to buying MP3 downloads of songs,

matching music videos and upcoming concerts by artists, if any are


“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


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.

“Being involved with this made total sense,” said Ryan Tedder, lead

singer of the band One Republic.

“If it wasn’t for MySpace and the internet, we wouldn’t be


Tedder promoted One Republic on MySpace after the band was dropped

by its label. One Republic is now an international sensation and Tedder a

self-proclaimed believer in the power of music spreading on the internet.

The words “music” and “lyrics” rank among the top 10 search terms

of all time at Google, according to Mayer.

“At Google, we see millions of music-related queries every day,”

the search chief said. “It is clear to us that for our users music holds a very

special and particular place.”

The California-based internet search powerhouse enlisted Gracenote

for software tools that identify songs based on snippets of lyrics.

Lala and iLike provide the music streaming and links to online

music purchases and communities for discovering what is being listened to by

people with similar tastes.

Record studios and labels applauded OneBox for steering music

lovers toward places to buy or listen to music legitimately instead of links to

websites where pirated music is shared.

“This is a tremendous opportunity,” said Steve Savoca of

independent record label Domino Recording. “Once we expose people to these

services we can change behaviour and show the legitimate side of music is

probably where they need to be."

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.