Google will soon launch a music service, we’ve heard from multiple sources, and the company has spent the last several weeks securing content for the launch of the service from the major music labels. One source has referred to the new service as Google Audio.
We’re still gathering details, but our understanding is the service will be very different to the Google China music download service that they launched in 2008. That service, which is only available in China, allows users to search for music and download it for free.
This new service will be available for at least U.S. users, our sources confirm, although it isn’t clear if it’s a download or streaming service, or both. Google already has a decent (if little used) music search engine that can be accessed by simply typing “music:” before a query (example). But songs are not available for streaming or download from those searches.
We’ll update as we get more details.
Update: More details on the service, which is in partnership with LaLa and iLike, here.
Update 2: Screenshots and more information.