Google launches OneBox music store

Google is partnering with web services Lala and MySpace’s iLike to create an online music store dubbed OneBox.

Google launches OneBox music store

The global search leader will provide users who want to sample a song with a pop-up box that will play at least a 30-second segment – in some cases the entire song – provided by iLike and Lala, which will then offer links to purchase the music.

Google has also teamed up with Pandora, iMeem and Rhapsody to incorporate links to those music sites, to help consumers discover music related to search queries. The feature is currently only open to US consumers.

The move will help cement Google’s role in the music industry, which is struggling with plunging sales amid the rise of Apple’s iTunes and other sites. Investors hope that streaming songs or video clips online will help stem the fan-base losses.

“Every day we get millions of search queries about music,” Google claims on its blog. “You want to know more about your favourite artists, find that new album or that iconic song, or figure out the name of that tune stuck in your head.”

The new capability will help listeners find songs by entering a search by title, album, artist or even with a line or two of lyrics.

No deals done

Google says it didn’t work directly with any record labels – contrary to reports that it had forged ties with the likes of Sony and Warner – but has the industry’s full backing.

“Everybody’s been very supportive,” says R.J. Pittman, director of product management for Google. “Indeed, our business model is to improve the search experience with the help of streaming partners, which offer interesting business models of their own.”

Popular social network Facebook last week expanded its musical offerings through a deal to integrate Lala into its gift store. Google’s own Youtube video site – already a major discovery avenue for music – is separately partnering with Vivendi’s Universal Music Group and Sony Music to create Vevo, a music video service expected to launch December.

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