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Google launches own music service

Audio is an increasingly popular mobile data form in the US

Google has launched a music service to give users access to their music collections from their Android devices. The service, Google Music, allows users to buy, share and stream music on the go for free.

The company launched a Beta version of the service last May, but has now launched a full version, which enables users to purchase new music through a music store via Android Market and share music using the Google+ social network.

Users can also upload their music collection of up to 20,000 songs into their personal cloud, so that they can stream their music from any Android device.

The service includes a Google Music artist hub, so that any artist that has all the necessary intellectual property rights can distribute their own music on Google’s platform. They can use the artist hub interface to build an artist page, upload original tracks, set prices and sell content directly to fans — essentially becoming the manager of their own music store.

Dave McQueen, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms and Media, believes that handset players that can provide users with access to rich content stand to gain a competitive advantage in the smartphone battle.

“It’s not just about the device itself but the ecosystem and what else you can do with it, and content is important,” he said. He added that very few firms, such as Sony, Apple, and to a lesser extent, Samsung, offer music, video and gaming content, and this gives them a competitive advantage.

“There’s not many companies that can do that,” he added.

The store offers more than 13 million tracks from a host of record labels, and the music store will be rolled out to Android Market on devices running version 2.2 or higher over the next few days.

This week, RIM  also launched its BBM Music service on a commercial basis following a successful beta trial

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