When Google Music launched a couple months ago, there was some criticism regarding how the service was promoted. What many saw as just another music locker and streaming service (albeit a perfectly good and free one) others saw as a great new vector for music sales and distribution. But the music locker portion seemed to hog the spotlight, and the cool Band Camp-esque new artist hubs lurked in the gloom.
Busta Rhymes seems to be a fan of the latter, and not just because he’s in an official partnership. In an interview on MTV, he was positively effusive about Google’s new platform. Check out the short clip, from MTV’s Sucka Free:
I think he’s being truthful when he says that “with that power that they have, that it was almost blasphemous for them to not have their hands in music as well.” Google, via YouTube, is the world’s foremost player in video distribution on the web (though as far as purchased content goes, Netflix is king). One almost wonders why music didn’t come first.
In case you were wondering that, the reason is that the user-focused structure of YouTube makes it a platform for viral videos and self-expression, not studio-produced content. They’ve been trying to change that, but it hasn’t been very effective (people don’t think of YouTube that way, for good reaosn). Google Music lets them start fresh and try to build something that works both from the top down and the bottom up. So whether they “sign” guys like Busta or a dude recording on an 8-track in his living room, they can provide an end-to-end buying, listening, and sharing solution.
“Google ain’t really trying to just sell music” is about as capsule-sized a summary as you can get, and it’s true. Google hates selling things, in fact. And in the music world, it might be that in a few years, selling things like music tracks just won’t be something you do, and Google will have positioned itself well to be a non-purchase solution.