Google is taking on Apple and RIM with a new music store in the Android Market that is fully integrated with Google Music, the service it officially launched last night (16 November).
The store offers more than 13 million tracks from artists on Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI, and the global independent rights agency Merlin as well as over 1,000 prominent independent labels including Merge Records, Warp Records, Matador Records, XL Recordings and Naxos.
Google has also partnered with the world's largest digital distributors of independent music including IODA, INgrooves, The Orchard and Believe Digital.
Users can purchase individual songs or entire albums from a computer or Android device and they’ll be added instantly to a Google Music library, and accessible anywhere.
Google Music will launch in the US at market.android.com and over the next few days it will be rolled out to the Android Market on devices running Android 2.2 and above. The launch comes just days after BlackBerry unveiled BBM Music in the UK.
The company is celebrating the launch by offering a variety of free exclusive music tracks to choose from. The Rolling Stones are providing an exclusive, never-before-released live concert album, Brussels Affair (Live, 1973), including a free single, ‘Dancing with Mr. D’.
It is the first of six in an unreleased concert series that will be made available exclusively through Google Music over the coming months.
Coldplay fans will also find a free, live recording of Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall, a five-track live EP from their recent concert in Madrid and a remix of ‘Paradise’ by DJ Tiësto.
Busta Rhymes’s first single from his upcoming album, Why Stop Now (feat. Chris Brown), is available for free and Shakira’s live EP from her recent concert in Paris and her new studio single, ‘Je L’Aime à Mourir’ are both being offered up free.
Meanwhile, Pearl Jam are releasing a live album from their 9/11/11 concert in Toronto that's free to Google Music users, while Dave Matthews Band are offering up free albums from two live concerts, including new material from Live On Lakeside. DJ Tiësto is also contributing a new mix, ‘What Can We Do?’ (feat. Anastacia), exclusively to Google Music users.
Posting the news on the Google Blog, Andy Rubin, senior VP of mobile, said: ‘Whether you’re on a label or the do-it-yourself variety, artists are at the heart of Google Music. With the Google Music artist hub, any artist who has all the necessary rights can distribute his or her own music on our platform, and 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 far-reaching music store.’