We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you this potentially very exciting tidbit: we think we know when Google will launch its music service, and we think we know who it will launch with.
Sources have informed us that Google will debut its music service on May 23 in some kind of partnership with Lady Gaga, whose hotly anticipated album, Born This Way, is due for release on the same day. Users will be able to access the album by signing up for and trying Google’s service.
The service itself, which is likely to feature things like cloud streaming and a song rating system, does not seem to have any features that are drastically different from its competitors. What it does have – and what it seems intent on exploiting to the fullest in a few weeks, provided our tipster is right – is superior market reach, brand recognition, and (except in some quarters) public trust. By hitching the promotional push of their service to pop music’s biggest brand, the world’s biggest Internet brand is clearly trying to bypass the education phase that other streaming services like Rdio and MOG are still dealing with.
It’s hard to know whether Gaga has the power to drive a mass move toward cloud-based streaming services. But if the executives at Google’s eventual competitors are right, and all that’s missing is a mass cultural excuse to try these services out, then the music industry may be just two weeks away from a very serious makeover.