You’ve probably seen Google Finance, where each company has its own page made up of content scraped from all over the web. Google is about to launch a similar service for musicians, says the Hollywood Reporter: “The music pages will package images of musicians and bands, album artwork, links to news, lyrics and song previews, along with a way to buy songs.”
Google won’t sell the songs directly; they’ll most likely be sold by Lala or iLike, according to the article, and Google will only make money off of ads that appear on the pages. Lala is actually pretty cheap: we compared prices on the latest Arctic Monkeys album on Lala and Amazon, and Lala beat Amazon by over $2 dollars for the same 256kb VBR files.
By comparison, the artist pages on Yahoo and over at Last.fm link directly to iTunes and Amazon for sales. (Last.fm also links to something called “7digital.”) They make money off of referrals, as far as we can tell.
We don’t care what business model the three sites use; we just want the best value for our music budget. Of course, there’s no reason you can’t buy your music from Lala today, but we’re still curious to see what sort of service Google will deliver next week and whether they’ll offer any added value.