Greg Sandoval at CNET dropped a bomb this week by trying to play out Google Music beta as a failed launch for the Google music service and the Android Market by saying it had not lived up to expectations (not too forget the cynical take by Business Insider). The Google Music beta was supposed allow it to reach across other Google items like YouTube music videos, Android Music and the Android Market, with all of the custom Android music apps. It was also supposed to drive people to the Google+ social network and Google Search, the cash cows and long-term strategy.
"Google's managers have told counterparts at the labels that customer adoption and revenue are below what they expected, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the talks," said Sandoval in his CNET article. He later went on to say "Google managers have told label executives that the service will get a boost once Google implements its hardware strategy, the sources said. Google plans to start competing against Apple by building an array of consumer devices."
Which hall portends a saucy headline behind an early critical response to Google Music ... by saying "Google Music not living up to expectations" as the headline. This would like be assessing Apple right after the iTunes launch, when everybody was criticizing the iTunes library for being so small ... but it's still so early. Expecting Google Music to live up whatever expectation those expectations may be is a bit premature. How about giving it time to unfold ... we could judge the integration of Google Music, the Android Market, YouTube, Google+, the Google entertainment device (whatever it will be) and Google TV as it all happens. Such big projects and broad strategies take time to unfold on a big level. Welcome to 2012 ... where every new product launch is expected to go global and meta in an increasingly shorter amount of time ... Google Music? Not reaching awesome penetration months after launch? What an epic failure ...
Recently we've seen new activity with the Google entertainment device and Google Drive, both of which portend a larger ecosystem of services that Google is rolling out this year, to go along with an entertainment strategy that also includes Google TV. Combine everything so far, and you've got a number of products and services that all support each other in what I'm starting call a "beehive effect," the idea that Google, Apple and Amazon ecosystems create a number of items that each create a buzz on their own, and drive people from one service to another like bees circling around a beehive. All the while, Google ads are flying and people are buying. They've even got in on Apple with a quietly launched Google Music for the iPad and iPhone as an iOS app, but one that's not from the iTunes app store, but rather an HTML5 app that draws in the Apple crowd to without committing Google to those in-app royalties to Apple. The Google Music 4 app for Android leaked shortly after that. The upcoming fight for Google TV vs. Apple TV has barely even started. So Google Music vs iTunes? Let's give this one some time. Google Music vs Amazon MP3 and the Amazon Cloud Player ... this is where the action will be at, for the second place slot.
Visit the Spacelab Streaming Music Guide for more on Google Music, iTunes, Amazon Cloud Drive and more.