Cutting it close, Google signed a deal with major music labels just one day before the official Google Music launch event this afternoon. Sony Corp.'s Sony Music Entertainment, Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group, EMI Music and "independent music labels" have all gotten on board with Google, reports The Wall Street Journal's. Ethan Smith and Amir Efrati. Up until now, Google offered a beta "music service" that was more of a cloud service for songs than a music servic, since it didn't have any songs for sale. But now, it looks like this afternoon Google will announce a bona-fide music service that does more than just store iTunes songs.
Timed two days after the iTunes Match launch, Google's service sounds like it will be a lot like Apple's offering. With Match, Apple put its already popular music storage, selling and organization service (iTunes) in the cloud. Google already has the cloud part, but now it's adding the sales part. Like Apple's $.99 per song model, Google's songs will go for around "$1 apiece," sources told the Journal. Sounds like the selection will be pretty extensive, too, considering all the big name record labels that signed on. And, as the Beta service already offers, Google will allow for storage of around 20,000 songs, giving users access to their own music libraries via the Internet.