Google to enable music downloads

LONDON - Google is reportedly set to enter the competitive music downloads market this year, with talks under way with the major music labels.

The Google music service will integrate music links into search results, giving consumers the opportunity to either purchase songs for download, or stream them via online music partners including iLike and Lala.

The search company made its first foray into the music market last year with a search service in China. This enables users to look for music by song, artist or album name, and download files, giving record labels a share of ad revenue.

Google already has global agreements with the music labels to let consumers watch and share music videos feat-uring their artists on YouTube in return for revenue generated from ads.

Google would not comment on its plans for the service, which is also expected to roll out on Google Android mobile phones.

The online and mobile music market has become a fierce battleground for the major entertainment companies this year. Sky has just launched online music service, Sky Songs,
which offers access to more than 4m tracks for download and streaming for a monthly subscription charge of £6.49. The broadcaster plans to highlight Sky Songs over the Christmas period, with a push spanning TV, press and online.

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