I don’t listen to a lot of music online, so I wasn’t familiar with Beats. Turns out it’s a new streaming service from the Beats by Dr. Dre headphone folks. Inexplicably, Apple bought the service this past May for $3 billion dollars. The move does give Apple control of two large streaming services; iTunes Radio and the commercial-free, trendy Beats. Apple says they’ll continue to operate the two as separate companies which makes sense because they each satisfy a different audience. iTunes Radio is good for the casual listener while Beats pulls in those who are serious about their music.
Getting back to the Google search ad – it’s a no brainer and should result in massive clicks. If you’re searching for a band, there’s a good chance you’re interested in hearing a few tunes, even if that wasn’t your original search intention. I might search for The Monkees because I saw Micky Dolenz on Mega Python vs. Gatoroid. I start poking around on Google, see the Listen Now link and the next thing you know I’ve bought a ticket on the Last Train to Clarksville.
The Wall Street Journal broke the story and included this quote from a Google spokesperson:
“We’re happy to help users quickly find legitimate sources for their favorite movies, music and more via Google search.”
I love how he specifies “legitimate sources”.
While I was working on this piece, I began typing in different names and clicking different buttons and I was both surprised and amazed by the results. When I searched “Mickey Dolenz”, I was gently informed that it’s actually “Micky” (no e). I got a different Listen Now ad and a long list of song links. Each of these links goes to song page with a YouTube video and search results related to that tune. Who knew? I didn’t.
The Listen Now button is just another way Google is working to make search results more accurate and dynamic and that’s good news for everyone.