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Google Links Music Store, Social Networking

It’s no secret that Google is building a music-download store. That the service will be closely tied to Google+ -- and could launch in about two weeks -- is news.

“Users of Google Music, as the service is tentatively named, could recommend songs in an online library to Google+ contacts, who in turn would be allowed to listen to those songs once for free,” reports The Wall Street Journal, citing sources. “The songs would then be available for sale as MP3 downloads, probably for around the usual 99 cents each.”

“Google’s inclusion of social features would see it compete directly with Facebook for social music, although Facebook doesn’t facilitate its own service,” The Next Web writes. “The company recently announced its new social graph implementation, allowing streaming services including Spotify and Deezer to deeply integrate their platforms into the social network.” 

More interesting to Gizmodo, however, is word that Google plans to launch the new music service “with or without” the participation of the four major record labels. “That's a ballsy move, Google,” it writes.

Indeed, “launching a music service without the participation of all four major label companies can be risky,” The Journal writes. “Users can get turned off quickly if they can't find an artist or a song they want, and the majors distribute more than 87% of the music sold in the U.S.”

Earlier this month, word got out that Google was in negotiations with major record labels to expand its cloud music service, and open an MP3 store. Confirming the reports last week, Android boss Andy Rubin the service was in the works and close to completion.

Back to Google’s social integration plans, “Digital-music services from Spotify AB and Research In Motion Ltd., too, have recently begun using social networking as a word-of-mouth marketing vehicle,” writes AllThingsD. “It is too early to know how successful these efforts are at recruiting new customers and retaining existing ones, people in the music industry say, but they add that early signs are encouraging.”

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