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With 65% of all search queries in the U.S., Google is in perfect position to consolidate music searches and, hopefully, monetize them.
MUSIC’S SEARCH IS COMPLETE
Google Partners With Majors, iLike, LaLa and Imeem for Music Engine; Facebook and MySpace Also Break Out New Music Initiatives
Now we’re getting somewhere. Not since the original Napster has the music business had a killer app like this. Just call it the big engine that could. Google is partnering with the Big Four to launch a new feature that will facilitate the discovery, sampling and buying of songs on the search engine.

With 65% of all search queries in the U.S., Google is in perfect position to consolidate music searches and, hopefully, monetize them. Start-ups iLike, LaLa and Imeem will provide the framework for the new feature, which will immediately pop up streams of songs from searched artists, with a “buy” button that takes customers to several online retailers, including Amazon and iTunes. LaLa, Imeem and iLike, which was recently acquired by News Corp's MySpace social networking site, will launch the new service next Wednesday (10/28), when it will be officially unveiled.

But that wasn't the only big digital-music news to break yesterday. Facebook announced that it's also planning to sell music through Lala. The service will allow visitors to Facebook's gift shop to send music to friends using "Facebook credits." For 10 cents (one Facebook credit) users can send songs to their friends to store on their profile pages. For a dollar, the songs can be downloaded .

As if that wasn't enough, MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta unveiled a suite of new services at the Web 2.0 conference aimed at deepening the site's relationship with the acts, which have long been its lifeblood and primary advantage over other networking entities. One potentially valuable new feature, Artist Dashboard, will provide bands with demographic and geographic breakdowns of profile visitors, along with data on streams and trending details, all of which should be valuable in designing marketing campaigns and tours.

In related news, MySpace Music said it was launching a video service featuring content from all of the majors. Videos will be added to search results and include a "buy song" overlay with links to Amazon and iTunes.

As for the Googgle bombshell, label sources say discussions had been going on with the search giant for the better part of a year on the project, which they hope will increase the size of the iTunes-dominated digital market.

News of the service was first reported by technology blog TechCrunch.

YouTube is already a key music discovery site and has recently joined with UMG and SME for a music video site, VEVO, which will launch in December.

Sources are calling the new service “OneBox," though WSJ's crack All Things Digital reporter Peter Kafka points out this is a name Google is already using for actual answers to specific queries, and the music initiative may well have another moniker when it does arrive next week.

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