Google Music Competes Against iTunes, Amazon

Google's music store will allow Android smart phone users to buy songs directly from Google, which is something they can't do from iTunes. They'll also be able to share their purchases with friends on the Google Plus social network. But the company, known mainly for its search engine, has a long way to go before it can challenge the big kid on the block.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business is download this. Google just launched a music store to compete with iTunes and Amazon. NPR's Laura Sydell has more.

LAURA SYDELL, BYLINE: Google's music store will allow Android smartphone users to buy songs directly from Google - something they can't do from iTunes. They'll also be able to share their purchases with friends on the Google Plus social network. But the company known mainly for its search engine has a long way to go before it can challenge the big kid on the block. Apple's iTunes is the largest music retailer in the world. And even though Amazon is second in the market, both of these companies already have good relationships with consumers, says Michael McGuire, an analyst at Gartner Research.

MICHAEL MCGUIRE: iTunes has 250 million credit card secured accounts. Amazon probably has a very large number of credit card secured accounts as well.

SYDELL: McGuire says Google would have to make its service really compelling to draw away consumers. And as it stands, Google only has three of the major record labels. It's missing Warner Music, which was just sold. But Google is also making a play for unsigned musicians with a new service that lets them create their own pages and upload and sell music directly through Google. Laura Sydell, NPR News.

MONTAGNE: And that's the business news for MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

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