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Google Makes Music With T-Mobile

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s cloud-based music service, first introduced last May, shed its Beta label Wednesday. The aptly named Google Music is now commercially available to users on Android 2.2 or higher, with some special perks for customers of partner T-Mobile US Inc. .

The iTunes-like service lets users upload up to 20,000 tracks to stream free of charge, as well as purchase more songs from the Android Market and share with Google+ contacts. And, if you're a T-Mobile subscriber, you'll be able to pay for purchased tracks on your phone bill. What's more, the carrier has promised some content exclusive to T-Mobile customers from artists like Drake, Maroon 5 and Busta Rhymes. (See Google Compels Operators to Ease Fragmentation.)

T-Mobile was Google's first Android partner, and T-Mobile Senior VP of Marketing Andrew Sherrard pointed out that the carrier has the largest selection of Android phones running on its HSPA+ network. While convenient for consumers, carrier billing is also important for T-Mobile, because it keeps the operator in the equation for an over-the-top service -- which isn't the case with services from Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL). (See Nokia Starts Over With Mobile Music and Apple Finds Friends, Synchs With iCloud.)

Google also used its launch event in L.A. to tout its success with Android. More than 200 million Android devices have been activated worldwide, double from 100,000 last May. On average, Google activates 550,000 new Android devices every day.

Ninety percent of the smartphones T-Mobile sells are based on the OS, Sherrard said. For the carrier, video makes up half of the data consumed on its network and mobile audio makes up 15 percent currently.

"That's before a service like Google Music launches," Sherrard added. "Who knows how high it will be tomorrow? I can't wait to see."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

FredStein 12/5/2012 | 4:48:42 PM
re: Google Makes Music With T-Mobile

Over the top tunes selling by an MSP is a Break Through, and should be lauded. But T-Mobile is $22B vs $268B for VZ, T, & S, combined. This barely changes the ecosystem. The giants in the emerging on-line content business will be Apple, Google, Amazon, and Samsung. All have vastly greater resources than T-Mobile.


Does this move, content dsitribution and sales, revive merger speculations. Who wants to jump in on this topic?

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