Saturday, October 21, 2017

Google Music Decoded: What is it and how does it benefit you?

December 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Droplink Studios' Blog

As most of you may already know, Google Music is a new online and mobile cloud service that allows users to access and share their music library from virtually anywhere and gives account holders the opportunity to sell their music online to other Google Music users.  Both listeners and artists can benefit from this new music platform, and although it is targeted for the Android market, don’t get discouraged iPhone users!  Recent apps make it easily accessible to you as well.  I’ll talk about that a little later, but for now, here’s the low-down on Google Music and how you can start using it:

Basically, you need to begin with a google account. If you don’t have one already, set one up.  Go to music.google.com and download the “Music Manager”.  This allows you to pull songs from your computer’s folders, iTunes storage, etc, and will upload them to the Google Music platform.  Currently, it allows storage of up to 20,000 songs for free, and once they are uploaded, they can be organized, set up in playlists, or shared with your friends.  Sharing you say???…although it’s a cool feature, don’t get too overly excited about it.  Artists and record companies alike still need to make money, so your friends can listen to a shared song once for free and afterward are given the option to buy the track and add it to their library if they like it.  Google Music will also continually recommend music to you based on what you listen to, and even offer free songs, including their “Free Song of the Day”, on a regular basis.

The real benefit I see to this new platform focuses on artists and bands. Google Music offers artists the ability to build a personalized page, including a bio, photos, videos, links, and tunes, AND allows the artist to sell and share their music online.  You pick your sell price and manage your account as you see fit.  It’s like MySpace on steroids!  Fans of your music can find you online, buy and share your tunes with their friends, giving them the opportunity to buy your tracks as well and share with their friends, and so on…and so on…well, you see where I’m going with this.  It’s an easy and modern way for an independent artist or band to gain exposure and promote themselves.  Google Music is also linked to YouTube, so you can promote and sell your songs right along side of your music videos on your YouTube channel.

Now, the fine print…what’s the bottom line and when/how do you get paid? First off, artists utilizing the Google Music service will be required to pay a one-time fee of $25.00 to set up your personal artist page.  No annual fees or surprise charges afterwards.  (Take note, if you are signed with a record label or currently have a distributor this service may not be for you.  This is really for artists without any outside support in selling their music).  Once you have your page, you can upload tracks, create albums, edit your profile, make changes to pricing on tracks/albums, all for free.  When music is sold, Google Music allows artists who use their services to keep 70% of the profit, which is paid out on a monthly basis.  There are plenty of other sites that allow artists to keep a higher percentage, but you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons there.

Last, but not least, please be aware that if you plan to use this with a mobile device, Google Music is set up for the Android market. It’s very simple to access the features if you have an Android 2.2 or higher via an app that can be downloaded directly to your phone.  However, iPhone users, as previously mentioned, do not be discouraged.  You can still access Google Music by logging into your account through your Safari browser on your phone.  Apple has also recently released a $0.99 app called GoMusic that allows direct access to your Google Music account.  They are still tweaking it, so be prepared for a few hiccups here and there, but Apple is working to improve it.  I downloaded it on my phone and have been using it the last few days without incident, so up to this point, I’m happy with it.

Google Music is one of a few recent highways built in the technological world to advance the future of music and further music accessibility.  For artists, it provides another connection to your audience and is an inexpensive way to get your name and music out into cyberspace.

A walk-through of the site is available at music.google.com.  If you are an artist, I’d recommend reading the “Help”  section at the bottom of the screen to get an in-depth look at the service and what it can do for you.

As always, your comments are always welcome or share your recent experiences with Google Music!  I’d be interested to hear them.

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