So a few days ago Google launched (in the U.S only) their online music store for Android users.
It’s going to work in the same way that iTunes worked originally for apple product users, Software restricted and client restrictive.
The new service will integrate with the new Google+ (another blog for another day) social service, so you can share your favorite tracks with your “circle” of friends. They are advertising that songs will cost anywhere between $0.69 (£0.44) and $1.29 (£0.82), which as any avid iTunes user knows is half the price you’re expected to pay with apple (being an average cost of £0.99 per track).
To kick off the service Google have sorted out a contract with Sony Music, Universal and EMI to name a few, so they can launch with a library of over 13 million tracks.
Some other cool features of the Google Music platform are that you can upload your own tracks from your own music collection and a service that allows anyone to pay $25 to create their own account and upload their own music (if your a band that is) and other than the $25 your will have to pay for the account, Google will also take 30% of all your sales for the privilege.
So what are Blackberry doing, I hear you say? (I didn’t hear you and you probably didn’t even say it!!!)
Well on Tuesday 15th November they launched BBM Music (BlackBerry Messenger Music) in the U.S, Canada and Australia. Working on a different pricing system, requiring a monthly subscription of £4.99 for 50 DRM protected tracks of your choosing (Digital Rights Managed). Although as BlackBerry have said:
“Let’s clarify one misconception: with a BBM Music Premium subscription, you can access far more than 50 songs.”
read more on their official blog here.
Currently Blackberry are offering a free trial for 60 days (if you really want the link because you live in the U.S, Canada or Australia, here it is http://uk.blackberry.com/services/bbmmusic/) allowing you up to 50 songs, the “clever” bit of their system is that any friends you have on your blackberry who also have a BBM Music account are addable, and you can listen to their music, so if 10 friends sign up for the 60 day free trial, each selecting 50 different tracks that’s a potential network of 500 tracks.
My concern is given the recent news that Smartphone operators aren’t doing enough to make people aware of their download limits and when they are incurring a charge (reference to the fact that a few users on the “Unlimited Data” deal suddenly found themselves being charged due to unnoticed fair usage policy citation in their contracts) what is the potential fallout of connecting to your friends and using their music, in terms of data limits.
Personally, whilst I am a big fan of change and bustling new technologies in the market, having used Spotify (free) for the past 2 years and having it linked to my friends on Facebook to listen to their music (and they mine) I don’t really see what these “new” services are doing differently other than putting the same functionality on a different platform.