Google puts songs a click away in search

Oct 28, 2009 By RYAN NAKASHIMA , AP Business Writer
A view of Google headquarters in Mountain View

(AP) -- A new music feature rolled out by Google Inc. Wednesday will bring its U.S. searchers one click away from listening to a full-length song.

The simple design brings up to four songs to the top of search results. Once one is clicked on, the will play on pop-up players from MySpace or Lala. The search results are also accompanied by album art and links to music sites Pandora, imeem and Rhapsody.

Internet users can search by artist name, album or song title and can even access a song by typing in part of its lyrics.

The clutter-free box pushes down other search results, such as the artists' home page and fan sites, and reduces what Google Inc. calls "time to result," in this case meaning how much clicking one has to do to hear a song.

"Within that mission of trying to make easier is to keep it simple," said R.J. Pittman, Google's director of product management. "Exercising great restraint in the design of this is what's going to maximize its adoption."

Recording companies are supportive of the move to put legitimate sources of music at the forefront.

"This is about extending reach," said Courtney Holt, president of MySpace Music, the social network's joint venture with recording companies.

It marks a big coup for .'s MySpace, which spent $20 million this month to buy music recommendation engine iLike. ILike had been working on the project with Google for months, according to co-founder Ali Partovi.

After clicking on a song, a MySpace music player will pop up roughly half the time to play it in full at least once, with an option to buy song downloads from Amazon.com Inc. or Apple Inc.'s .

Users who try to listen to the same song again may get only shorter previews, though the full-length songs along with videos, tour dates, and ticketing and other band information remain available by clicking through to the MySpace or iLike Web sites.

Lala, whose player powers the other half of song plays, also offers a way to purchase a song download from its collection of more than 7 million songs after offering one free listen.

The Palo Alto-based startup, in which Warner Music Group Corp. invested $20 million, benefits by being exposed to the millions of people who conduct music-related searches on Google every day.

Lala also offers songs that can be played forever online for 10 cents each and is preparing to launch an iPhone app that enables users to listen to those songs on the go.

"If you think about music discovery today, the vast majority begins with a search," said Lala co-founder Bill Nguyen. "This is going to be the shortest path from interest in to the ability to play it."

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Habitual Facebook users: Suckers for social media scams?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

MySpace Music videos to appear on Facebook

Oct 21, 2009

(AP) -- Social-networking site MySpace is using its joint venture with recording companies to launch a music video service that will pop into millions of profiles at rival Facebook as well.

MySpace scoops up popular Facebook app iLike

Aug 19, 2009

(AP) -- Social networking hub MySpace said Wednesday it is acquiring iLike, a popular music application on rival Facebook, in the first move by new management to expand after a series of drastic cuts and ...

Recommended for you

Apple helps iTunes users delete free U2 album

10 hours ago

Apple on Monday began helping people boot U2 off their iTunes accounts after a cacophony of complaints about not wanting the automatically downloaded free album by the Irish rock band.

Habitual Facebook users: Suckers for social media scams?

15 hours ago

A new study finds that habitual use of Facebook makes individuals susceptible to social media phishing attacks by criminals, likely because they automatically respond to requests without considering how they are connected ...

YouTube to go offline in India on Android phones

16 hours ago

YouTube users in India will soon be able to save videos from the Google-owned service, making it possible to watch them offline, and the feature will eventually be available globally, the company said Monday.

Facebook vs. loneliness

19 hours ago

Are people becoming lonelier even as they feel more connected online? Hayeon Song, an assistant professor of communication at UWM, explored this topic in recent research.

User comments : 0