By Ed Oswald | Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm
Google music chief Andy Rubin sat on stage Wednesday at All Things Digital’s AsiaD conference and promised us that its Google Music store would be more than just another iTunes. On Thursday we found out why. Business Insider reports that the “twist” Rubin is speaking of involves the ability to share music “on a limited basis” after you purchase the tracks.
Once shared, the tracks can be played a specific number of times by the recipient at no cost, say Business Insider’s sources. It’s not clear exactly how the process will work, although it probably would involve some kind of link to the purchaser’s music “locker,” a feature that launched with the beta of Google Music in May. The move certainly signals that the music industry may be ready to soften its stance.
Previously, the record labels had been pretty steadfast in their opposition to share music that they had purchased legally. But the launch of Spotify here in the US shows that the industry may have realized that the tight controls it has placed on digital content may actually be doing the opposite of what its intended to do: stop piracy.
Just think about it — if your friend tells you about a hot new track, is the 60 or so seconds that iTunes or any other service gives you as a preview enough to tell if you really like it? Why not give the opportunity to listen to the whole thing, in a controlled environment. Who knows, you just might buy it!