Last week, we heard a rumor that Google wasn’t content to live with Google Music as a storage-only solution for your MP3s, and was going to make anther stab at setting up an MP3 store of its own. This week, Andy Rubin confirmed the rumor, saying that the plan was to have the store up-and-running “soon”. At the time, he teased that the service would have something special to it, distinguishing it from a simple iTunes knock-off, but didn’t go into detail. Now, a new rumor may just nail-down what that feature is, suggesting that Google could allow users to share purchased tracks with friends.
Like that previous rumor, this one is sourced to an unnamed industry insider. Supposedly, under the terms of the licensing agreements Google is working out with the labels, you’ll be able to send a copy of a track you just bought to friends. Those users would then have access to the song on a limited basis whether that would be time-based or having it expire after a certain number of plays isn’t yet clear.
This sounds like a fantastic arrangement for the record companies, and once they got past what we can only assume are their reservations towards giving anything away for free, they may have realized what a great advertising opportunity this system could be; how many times have you been introduced to an album you later purchased by having a friend play it for you?