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-- Google's past, present and future music strategy are spotlighted at Wired's Epicenter blog. "The door is wide open for Google to poach iTunes users," it says. Music may seem like a cool market for Google to enter - years ago people thought Apple would buy a record label - but the technology behemoth should enter music only in ways that help its competitive position. Writer Eliot Van Buskirk points to things like the wired living room, micropayments and lower pricing as ways Google can take from Apple's market share. Maybe, but those ideas seem so in-the-present. If Google makes a foray into music, expect its vision to integrate its core business, search, and its priority for the future, mobile. And whatever it does, it will have mainstream, global appeal. Google does not need to spend its admittedly ample resources on a cloud-based music service, for example, that will not appeal to hundreds of millions of users. After all, the company's net income - what's left over after all expenses - is greater than an average major music group's gross revenue. But to the extent such a service will help its search revenues, yeah, Google may have interest in music. (Wired)

-- WaTunes has launched the WaTunes marketplace that offers millions of songs to consumers. Artists that use WaTunes for digital distribution will be able to sell directly to their fans from WaTunes. The service allows artists to sell an unlimited number of songs at digital retail and gives artists 100% of the proceeds (after a fee is paid based on the number of retailer stores selected for distribution). (Press release)

-- AudioLife and Reverb Nation have partnered to create Reverb Store, a direct-to-fan, on-demand store for Reverb Nation artists. The customizable stores allow artists to sell merchandise and music from their Facebook and MySpace pages, Web sites and blogs. There are not set-up costs. Artists can cash out, via PayPal, after they have earned $20 and ReverbNation has cleared all payments. ReverbNation takes a flat $5.49 per CD (that covers the manufacturing and shipping of the product), $3 for digital albums and $0.30 for individual tracks. Prices of ringtones are set at $2.49 and the artist gets 50 cent per unit. Merchandise has various costs depending on the item. Artists receive all proceeds above the cost of the merchandise. (Press release)

-- A Tech Day presentation by the American Association of Independent Music will be broadcast live on Ustream from 3:55pm to 6:00pm ET. The presentation will feature an hour-long panel moderated by Ted Cohen as well as a 30-minute presentation by In-Style Marketing. (Ustream link)

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