No, Google won’t be selling, or streaming, its own music.
But it will be reorienting its search results and pointing to partners iLike and Lala, according to information circulated, recirculated, and all-but-confirmed on Wednesday. Song streams are expected to be playable within the results set, similar to the existing YouTube integration, according to screenshots tipped by TechCrunch. That builds upon earlier efforts to consolidate various artist-related assets into search results.
Both iLike and Lala mailed invites to a special announcement next Wednesday the 28th from Capitol Studios in Hollywood. OneRepublic, Linkin Park and Dead by Sunrise will be on tap for the event. Meanwhile, the running joke at Digital Hollywood on Wednesday was the ‘unconfirmed speculation’ of a pending Google deal, ceremoniously denied by iLike cofounder Ali Partovi.
The integration will open the floodgates for Lala and iLike, though it remains unclear how that tilts the calculus for these partners. It also remains unclear at this stage whether these services will modify their offerings within the Google integration. Lala has been spinning a complicated arrangement that allows free streaming for the first listen, then charges a dime for stream ‘ownership’ – and a credit towards an MP3 purchase. MySpace-owned iLike offers full-length streaming and truncated samples, depending on the song, as well as integrated MP3 downloads and links to iTunes purchases.