Ever since the Google Music locker went live in May, Google has been pretty quiet on the music front.
But on Wednesday afternoon, the company let out a little squeak. Google unveiled a music discovery website called Magnifier. The site features video of live performances, artist interviews, and free music downloads designed to be added to the Google Music locker.
Each week, Google will feature a different artist, starting this week with My Morning Jacket. Google is giving away two tracks from the group, one of which (a live performance of "The Day is Coming") is exclusive to Google. Additionally, it will give away new music every day. A Google Music account is required to acquire the songs.
The Google Music service is still invite-only, but the company is asking anyone interested in the free downloads to request an invitation, which suggests that it may be ready to ramp up the service. The timing could also suggest a growing need to compete with the newly launched Spotify for digital music attention. Additionally, Apple is getting close to going live with its iCloud service.
But what Google still needs is music licenses. Google Music is just a first step without them. No licenses means Google Music users must upload all of their tracks to the online locker individually. A licensed service would mean that it could just scan user's libraries and match them against a database of songs in the cloud. Since Google is now giving away free tracks, it's possible that there's been some movement on the licensing front.
Stay tuned for more details.