Google Unveils Competition for iTunes

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is challenging Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) yet again as the world’s largest Internet-search company introduces a music service that lets people buy songs through the Android Market.

Users will be able to store and stream as many as 20,000 songs on Google Music after the company forged partnerships with 1,000 record labels to offer a total of 13 million songs.

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Google’s expansion into music, television, and movies is meant to promote its Android operating system and marketplace. The company will also let users share music on its Google+ social network in an effort to wean users off Apple’s music products and services, which generated $6.3 billion in fiscal 2010.

“Music is more important to Google than ever before,” said Jamie Rosenberg, director of digital content for Android. The music service will offer reviews, band information, and exclusive content from artists. For a one-time $25 fee, Google will also allow artists to create pages to display videos, biographies, and sell self-published music. Users of the artist pages will receive 70 percent of sales and can set pricing.

The service will work closely with T-Mobile USA, letting the carrier’s customers pay for tracks on their monthly phone bills. T-Mobile introduced the first Android-powered phone, made by HTC, in October 2008.

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