Google has switched on its long-anticipated online music service in the US, as it begins the battle against Apple’s dominance of the digital music market.
The Google Music store, accessible only through the Android Market, offers 13 million tracks for download from artists with Universal Music, Sony Music, EMI as well as over 1,000 independent labels.
Users can purchase individual songs or entire albums from their computer or Android device, which will be instantly added to their Google Music Library and accessible anywhere.
To get the service moving, Google is offering consumers access to one free song download each day as well as allowing them to share purchased songs with friends on the Google+ network. This will give Google+ users a free, full-play of songs bought by their friends.
Normally, songs are priced at 69 US cents, 99 US cents and $US1.29.
Analysts from Gartner told Reuters that the exclusion of Warner Music tracks mean the service could have a limited appeal.
“They’ve got to get that catalog filled pretty quickly… It’s a launch, but it’s kind of like a work-in-progress,” Gartner analyst Mike McGuire said.
Google Australia has yet to confirm when the service will become available in Australia.