I received an invitation recently to participate in Google’s new cloud-based music service and have since uploaded my music library. The gist of the (no cost) offering is that once uploaded, you can access your music from any browser on any device with an Internet connection. It’s a pretty incredible innovation on a couple levels.
For starters, it presents an alternative to Apple’s ITunes dominance in the “player” market, as music (that’s been uploaded) can now be accessed in a totally new manner. It also lays to rest the notion that the size of one’s hard drive (desktop or mobile) should limit the amount of music that someone can have at their fingertips. There is an app specific for Android phone users and (not surprisingly) there isn’t one for iPhone customers yet.
I encourage you to test out Google Music when you can. I want to highlight that for many of us, this represents our second occurrence of storing important files…. on the cloud. Our first experience was / is storing our email and attached files via Gmail, Hotmail, etc. Google Music seems different as we are transferring (uploading) assets (music files) that we have heretofore kept on our hard drives. Many of us stress about how we are going to protect these files from loss, theft, accidental deletion, etc. Storing our music library on the cloud is a great new insurance policy at the very least.
Next up for some companies will be a transition to a cloud-based version of Microsoft Office. This new service has been in Beta and was rolled out with an official launch date of June 28, 2011.
As with all aspects of the Internet, the pace of change with cloud computing is furious. With companies like Google able (and willing) to store vast amounts of information at no charge for individuals, and Microsoft’s new Cloud version of Office, our reliance on hard drive storage space will likely diminish. None of these developments realistically impacts your online marketing initiatives right now, but that is apt to change over time, particularly with no cost applications like Google Music. Are contextual ads on each person’s player coming next? Stay current with Cloud computing. It will increasingly become interwoven with your online (and previously offline) activities.
Impact On The Music Industry
A side note to this discussion is how unlimited and free music storage will ultimately impact the music buying habits of individuals. Maybe this is the innovation which can add renewed value to music “ownership” in the Internet era and thereby entice individuals into more accelerated purchasing.