Google Music Adoption Lower Than Expected

Google Music has been around for a few months now, and according to a CNET exclusive, Google told music labels that customer adoption and revenue are below what they expected. Since the service is still pretty new, no one at Google is too worried. They still haven’t marketed Google Music as aggressively as they could, and Google told the record companies that certain issues are still being worked on. But that’s little comfort for some folks in the music industry, sources said.

Potential
When Google Music launched in November, there was a potential customer base of over 200 million users of Android devices. That’s a big enough audience to make Google’s answer to iTunes a music powerhouse. Converting just 10% of the user base would equate to 20 million customers. The potential is there, but is Google’s strategy too dated?

Competition
The Google Music service sells music from several indie labels and all major record companies except for Warner Music Group. Users can then download or stream the music to their devices or desktops. Users can also upload up to 20,000 songs to Google’s servers and make them available for streaming as well.

This comes at a time when services like Spotify and Rhapsody are taking off, offering access to an already existing huge collection of music for a monthly fee. No uploading needed, and no need to buy individual songs or albums. This all-you-can-eat buffet-style offering seems to fit many people’s lifestyles.

Other upcoming music services also threaten to fragment the customer base, including Microsoft’s rumored Xbox and Windows Phone music store. Carriers are also in the music game by offering their own music download services, such as Sprint’s Music Plus and Verizon’s V Cast.

Let’s not forget the free services available, such as Pandora and Slacker Radio. These services act more like streaming radio stations, where the user doesn’t select specific songs or albums. They just tell the service what they like, and the service serves up music accordingly.

Hardware?
Sources are also saying that Google is expecting the service to get a boost once their hardware strategy rolls out. Could this be Google’s wireless entertainment system we reported on earlier? This rumor talks about a system that streams music wirelessly throughout your home, presumably using the Google Music service.

Future
Will Google Music ultimately fail? Who knows. It’s too early to tell. With all the different options people have to get and listen to music, it’s hard to say if one will end up “winning” or if there is enough room for several big players. I believe each type of music service (cloud storage, subscription, and radio) will be around for a while since they each cover a different type of user. But will Google Music go the way of Android, or Google Wave? Let’s hope it’s the former.

Do you use Google Music? What are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments!

source: cnet

» See more articles by Ed Caggiani


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  • Aj

    This is because google loves to create USA only services. Which is kind of funny considering the deathgrip Apple has in North America. Opening the services would be a good idea but would be a hassle because it seems like google hates putting any effort into countries that… well aren’t America.

  • Owenoliver1

    I agree I’m in the UK I know at least 30 people who want it but its to hard to sign up so its only me its sad

  • Rocknessalex

    Hello~ Asia has great potential. Why not release it in Asia? I’m from Singapore and i’m interested but unable to use it. Unlike Google Music, iTunes has coverage almost every part of the world. This allowed them to reach out to their targeted audience. Google identified their segment in the market and has the potential. However, unable to cater to their needs. Although marketing isn’t agressive, many fans of Android in asia are informed of this new app. A pity i felt.

  • Xcwatts

    I love Google music don’t get me wrong up loading was a bit of a pain but all my music was already on my PC so it was just a case of hitting upload and leaving it for a few days. Its just great access to all my music and instant playlist thing is great. Living in the uk was a bit of a pain to access but I just used tunnel bear to sign up problem solved :-)

  • Ben Mcwhinnie

    I would love to use Google music, but as most users have found they cannot use it as they are outside of the US. I wonder if google realises how many users of the service they are missing out on. It is a real shame and I hope they are going to release this to more countries in the future.

  • Matthew

    Google Music only being available in the US has a lot more to do with international law than anything else.

    I had planned to use it, but it appears that the player doesn’t like to buffer, and won’t work on our slow connection at work.

  • http://twitter.com/urgan urgan

    Google music needs incentives. Right now it has zero. The interface of the shop is terrible (yes I realize its the same as the rest of the Android shop, I still think its not very functional). I can get the same music from other places at the same prices, and those places have good customer service. Their similar artist algorithms are not good. Their featured albums are the WORST I’ve seen. Don’t get me wrong, I love Google but their music service leaves alot to be desired. At least their Android app is the best music player though.

  • Eddie Teo

    There might be some “laws” that prevent Google Music (as well as many other Google’s apps such as Current, etc.) from going internationally, but I believe Google could have done a lot more to gain ground. Google’s own Market download infographic has shown that among the top download per capita Asian countries took up 4 spots. The USA, being Google’s home turf and showered with all Google’s love, ranks a miserable 4th place!

    So Google, why gave all your love to someone who doesn’t appreciate you, and gave so little love to those who do appreciate you and love you dearly?