As anticipated, Google is finally planning to launch its new cloud-like music service. The new Music Beta By Google will allow users to upload and store their music online and stream their collections on computers and on devices with the Android Market Music App. Those interested in trying it out should request an invite here to be notified when Music Beta is ready to go.
The announcement comes shortly after Google’s dust-up with Grooveshark, which occurred when Google pulled the Grooveshark App from its Android Marketplace. Though Google claimed it kicked out Grooveshark for violating copyright, some speculated that Google did it to make way for Music Beta.
We’re going to avoid the Beta business for now and instead scope out the new online music streaming offerings from the Library Of Congress. The government-run Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation in Virginia, home to a treasure trove of original recordings, just made its archives available for streaming this week. Who needs a cloud when you can have a National Jukebox?
In other news…
• Digital music distributor TuneCore hiked its album renewal fees from $19.98 to $49.99. According to Digital Music News, the change went into effect April 6, but the response from enraged artists has only emerged as of late with the approach of renewal time.
• 2011 has been a good year for music sales so far, thanks to the success of the digital music marketplace. According to a Nielsen Company report, overall music sales have gone up 1.6%, an increase credited in part to the 2010 agreement that made the Beatles’ catalog available digitally for the first time ever. The report also found that this year’s Record Store Day was the most successful in the event’s four-year run. We’ve got to admit, it’s getting better, it’s getting better all the time.
• Lady Gaga will release her highly anticipated new album, Born This Way, May 23, and the pop diva with an avant-garde style is ready to shock fans once again by debuting some of her tracks on … FarmVille? Yes, the racy performer is using the popular virtual farming Facebook game as a platform to offer sneak-peeks of her tunes in the game’s newly designed, but temporary, “GagaVille.” Watch out for the motorcycle-riding sheep.
• Live Nation and Groupon announced a new partnership this week. The live entertainment company linked up with the online deal website to create GrouponLive. Like the standard Groupon, its latest offspring will flood your email with discount offerings, only these will relate to local entertainment. No deals have hit our inboxes yet, but we’re eagerly anticipating anything that saves our wallets and feeds our concert addictions.
Industry Wrap is a weekly CMJ column covering industry-related music news. Send tips to Christine Werthman at email@example.com.