Out of Beta: A music store and a new app
The beta was completed after six months and on November 16, 2011, “Music Beta by Google” became “Google Music”. The service has been opened to everyone in the US, no invitations are required.
While Google couldn’t negotiate a deal with record labels during the beta, the various billion dollar companies put their differences aside for the official launch and decided it was a good idea to sell us all of our music so that Google could get its music license.
Well, at least one deal has been signed with three of the four major record labels. Universal, EMI, Sony and a few smaller labels signed up and brought 8 million tracks with them, while Warner Music lasted a full year. Independents didn’t need a record label at all – they could sell music through Google’s new “Artist Hub,” which listed indie songs on the stock market for a 30 percent cut.
Google celebrated the out-of-beta milestone with its new friends in the music industry, throwing a star-studded party led by the likes of Drake, Busta Rhymes, and Maroon 5. There’s a whole article about it Der Hollywood Reporter.
The license meant that Google opened a music store on the Android Market that offered 320 kbit / s MP3 purchases à la carte for $ 0.69 to $ 1.29 each. The store existed on both the Internet and Android, and music purchased on any client was instantly synced with all other clients. The Android Market looked like a serious store now, selling apps, movies, music, and books. Music purchases can be made through Google Wallet or, if you’re a T-Mobile customer, easily added to your monthly bill. As part of the standard app store that shipped on every Android device, Google’s media store had a wide reach after its launch in your country.
The non-beta launch also meant a new Android app with a new design. With Android 3.0 Honeycomb and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Google went all-in Tron-inspired blue laser beam theme and the new Google Music app followed. While the beta version always looked very gray, the new Android app (version 4.0, compatible with the latest operating system) was very, very blue. This now dead service has also been integrated into other now dead Google services, e.g. B. the simple sharing on Google+ (killed in 2019) and a Google TV app (killed in 2014).
The Google Play Era
In March 2012, Google decided that “Android Market” is not a good name for products that work on the Internet on Windows, Mac and Linux. This is how Android Market became “Google Play”.
All media stores also became Google Play. In addition to the Google Play (App) Store, there are Google Play Movies, Google Play Books and Google Play Music. These are all really nasty brands, but things would only get worse in the future. The actual Google Play transition has changed next to nothing other than branding. Everything got a new logo, including shiny new gold headphones for the newly christened Google Play Music.
At Google I / O 2012 in June, Google (Play) Music turned one year old, as did the Nexus Q, the first piece of Google hardware with a focus on music. The Nexus Q was a crazy looking futuristic media sphere that ran Android, and in addition to streaming music and videos, it was an amplifier for bookshelf speakers. When everything was plugged in, it looked like one of those creepy, squid-like sentinel robots from Die Matrix.
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