Here’s the reason:
Google is preparing to show off a new music service at tomorrow’s I/O conference. And like Amazon’s launch earlier this year, the company is doing it without the approval of the major music labels and publishers.
So, you have the weight of Google thrown behind this, but you have two things working against this being a success.
First, history teaches us that when Google launches a media platform without the approval of the actual content providers, it dies pretty quickly. What happened when Google TV launched and didn’t play nicely with the other kids in the TV playground?
I’ll tell you what happened. Viacom, NBC, ABC, Fox, and CBS all blocked Google TV from accessing their content. If Google does indeed launch a music hosting service, then I’m sure the music industry will just love to work with them and won’t block them or sue them in any way. Sorry, I had an extra cup of sarcasm this morning.
OK, so what’s the second reason Google Music will be a flop? This…
…Google has apparently decided that it would rather launch a reduced version of a music service than none at all.
Oh cool! Google’s trying to enter a competitive space, it knows little about, with a half-baked offering. And when exactly did that work out for Google? Google Video, Google Answers, Google Wave, Google Print Ads, Google Buzz anyone? Without the ability to purchase and download music, what value does this really offer?
I hope Google proves me wrong. I love a lot of Google’s successes–Search, Reader, Gmail, and Chrome to name a few–but Google’s track record for entering new markets, with half-assed attempts at a product, tends to speak for itself.