San Francisco – Google (NASD: GOOG) on Tuesday introduced a beta of its
long-awaited cloud-based music service, Music Beta by Google, opting to launch
without licensing deals with the major record labels. The service lets users —
who may request an invite at a link below — upload their personal music
libraries, and then access them from Android-based devices. Like Amazon.com,
Google had been in lengthy negotiations with the record labels, but in the end
opted to launch its service without any additional licenses.
been in negotiations with the industry for a different set of features, with
mixed results," Google executive Zahavah Levine told Billboard.
a couple of major labels were less focused on innovation and more on demanding
unreasonable and unsustainable business terms."
"This is a personal
storage service that doesn’t require licenses anymore than sales of an iPod or a
hard drive requires licenses," Levine told CNET.
"It’s like a user
making personal copies of their own music and transferring it to their iPod,
but rather than a portable hard drive they have a hard drive in the
Music Beta by Google is only available in the U.S. at this time,
and will remain free for a limited time, the company said.