In the final hours before launching its music store, Google has reportedly signed licensing agreements with three major record labels. A report from the Wall Street Journal claims Google will have deals in place with Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and EMI when it kicks off the service at a Wednesday event in Los Angeles. Google also has the support of several unnamed independent labels.
The music service will allegedly sell songs for $1 each and will let people share one to two free listens per song on Google +. The new online music store will likely plug into Google’s Music Beta and let customers store purchased music in Google’s cloud. Music Beta is a digital locker for people to upload, store and stream their music libraries. It launched earlier this year without record label support which has limited its expansion.
With Google now offering licensed content for its Android handsets, the battle for your music dollars is heating up. Apple and its iTunes App Store is the big winner thus far, but Amazon’s Cloud Player service and now Google’s Music service will add some much needed competition into the mix.