Today in Connected Consumer

I’ll have more on Google’s new music store in an upcoming Weekly Update, but I wanted to flag what, to me, was the big news out of yesterday’s formal unveiling of Google Music. While Google Music may, or may not, someday pose a threat to the dominance of iTunes in online music sales it has already made a significant mark on the business. Google managed to secure licenses from three of the four major record distributors (along with many independent labels) that sanction free music sharing. Google Music users will be able to allow their friends to listen to every track or albums they buy once, for free. The deals will apparently also tolerate the continuation of Google Music Beta’s unlicensed storage in the cloud of music already on users’ hard drives, regardless of how it got there. My colleague David Card thinks that’s kind of a snooze, but they strike me as potentially significant breakthroughs in what the record companies have been willing to license up to now.