Yesterday, the WSJ reported that Google was planning to launch a music service in India to help users search for legal online streams and downloads and fight digital piracy, which reportedly runs rampant in the nation.
Update: official Google India blog post is up.
Currently only covering songs in Hindi, the music search engine promises that users can search for and instantly listen to thousands of full songs, which are delivered by Google’s partners in India (in.com, saavn and saregama).
Anyone can use the search engine, even outside India. Search results can be streamed instantly and free of charge in a pop-up Web player, and you can filter results based on singers, actors and release dates. There’s no option to purchase music directly.
Whether the initiative will effectively curb digital music piracy in India remains to be seen.
The main difference is that in the US, Google only plays previews for songs and not full tracks.
(Thanks to Abhijeet Mukherjee for the heads up)