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Google Tunes in the Works?
Monday, January 30th, 2006 at 2:00 PM - by Jeff Gamet
Google may be considering an extensive alliance with Napster in an effort to take on the iTunes Music Store (iTMS), according to the New York Post. Bear Sterns analyst, Robert Peck, commented in a recent research report "We believe Google is in the midst of creating its own iTunes competitor, which we've dubbed 'Google Tunes.'"
Analysts are speculating that Google may unveil its own music service within six months, and the company has already started to dabble in the musical arena with its enhanced music search results service. Google's music search service lists related music and album art when you search for a musical group. Searching for "The Beatles," for example, now lists albums from the Fab Four above other related links.
Whether or not Google will actually roll out "Google Tunes," either as its own product, or as a part of an alliance with other companies, remains to be seen.
Despite the rumors and speculation, Google is downplaying the Napster reports. A Google spokesperson told the Times Online "No, we have no plans at this time to develop a music store, or to compete with existing online and offline music retailers."
Times have been tough for Napster's music subscription service. It previously filed bankruptcy after its original file-sharing business model was declared illegal, and last week the company laid off about ten percent of its workforce.
On news of the Google rumors, however, Napster's stock shot up 28 percent to US$3.99.
In comparison, the iTMS is considered the number one player in the digital music download market. So far, no one has been able to compete with Apple's online music and video service.Apple's stock is holding its own in response to the rumors. It is currently trading at $75.51, up 0.51 (0.7%).
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