Google launches music search with Lala, iLike, more


Like predicted last week, Google has partnered with web services LaLa and MySpace’s iLike to give music fans an easier way to find, sample and buy songs on the Internet. Google will provide users who want to sample a song with a pop-up box that will play at least a 30-second segment — in some cases the entire song — provided by iLike and Lala, which will then offer links to purchase the music.

Google has also teamed up with Pandora, iMeem and Rhapsody to incorporate links to those music sites, to help consumers discover music related to search queries.

Facebook last week also expanded its musical offerings through a deal to integrate Lala into its gift store. Google’s Youtube video site, already a major music video destination — is partnering with Universal Music Group and Sony Music to create Vevo, a music video service expected to launch in December, said Reuters.

The Lala-powered music service allows users to stream any song in its catalog of 8.5 million tunes once for free, and then sells unlimited streams for 10 cents per track and MP3 files, starting at 89 cents.

“We’ll see a 1000% increase in our business. We have about 100,000 customers and the majority or about 60,000 of them are active, which generate about $67 per year,” he said.

Nguyen said his company’s revenues now total less than $10 million, but expects to be much larger by next year, said Reuters.

“We expect to be one of the largest retailers of online music within one year after this deal,” he said.

RBR-TVBR observation: As we’ve said before, this could be fairly devastating to other streaming services that offer instant purchases—especially iTunes. Facebook and Google both command a huge number of eyeballs each day. Adding music listening, purchases and social recommendations into the equation will save the consumer the time and effort of signing onto another service and purchasing there. Where does this leave radio stations and their web applications to purchase music instantly (also iTunes tagging)? Completely out of the equation. Perhaps Google and/or FB will allow partnerships with radio station sites via a web widget and/or mobile app that will provide a revenue share from music purchases.