The low-level of activity on Google+ compared to older rival Facebook has become a bit of a joke in the space, but the search engine king is going to hop into the social music game, sources who wish to remain anonymous claim.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the revamped Google Music will be a bit of a Spotify/iTunes hybrid. The standard “people familiar with the matter” leaked the information, and the financial paper reports that social integration will be a large part of the service, but that individual song sales are a big component as well:
Users of Google Music, as the service is tentatively named, could recommend songs in an online library to Google+ contacts, who in turn would be allowed to listen to those songs once for free. The songs would then be available for sale as MP3 downloads, probably for around the usual 99 cents each.
Although the service is expected by month’s end- sometime later this week or next- Google has only managed to hammer out licensing deals with two of the four major record labels. The absence of such a significant swath of music could impede user adoption, but it looks likely the launch will occur without the last two deals in place.