The difference between Google Music and iTunes appears to be that Google would like to give users the ability to store their music collections online. Keeping their music in a sort of ‘music locker’ would enable users to access their favorite tunes from just about any web-accessible device. cnet says that this unprecedented feature is a sticking point in the negotiations between Google and the recording industry.
Unlike Amazon and others that have tried to compete seriously with Apple for music-streaming supremacy of late, Google has a significant advantage- its user base. Google has a number of built-in opportunities to integrate Google Music into their already very popular products.
- Mobile Phones – Their Android operating system is activated on 350,000 mobile devices per day;
- Web Browsing – Their Chrome Internet browser is gaining market share every month;
- Tablets – The number of Android-based tablets is steadily growing;
- PCs – Their Chrome Operating System for PCs is (hopefully)on the horizon;
- Advertising – Google.com is still one of the top-visited sites on the net consistently. This poses an enormous advertising opportunity for Google Music.
On the flip-side, the success of Google Music is all in how they integrate and market it. They have flopped on a number of products over the years. Most notably Google Wave and Buzz, which were recent flops that enjoyed most of the advantages listed above.
I guess only time will tell if Google can knock Apple down a few pegs. I do think it will be pretty cool to be able to put all my music in one place and access it from all of my devices rather than have to sync them all constantly.