Google held its anticipated Google Music event today, and revealed the new version of Google Music, which is free and available to all (no more invites).
The new release includes a music store, with record label partners: Universal, EMI, Sony, and a bunch of independents:
They will also work to add more partners.
The service is launching with some special and free offerings from the Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Busta Rhymes ,Shakira, Pearl Jam and the Dave Matthews Band.
90-second previews are available for all songs.
You can upload up to 20,000 songs to your collection. You can pin songs from your collection for offline listening, which should be good for plane trips.
"Other cloud services think you have to pay to listen to music that you own. We don't," said Google's Jamie Rosenberg.
A "music" section is being added to the Android Market, similar to the Movies and Books offerings. T-Mobile customers will be able to pay for music directly through their T-Mobile phone bills. T-Mobile is giving its customers more free exclusive content from Drake, Maroon 5, Busta Rhymes and other artists.
There are recommendations through staff pick, promotions, and through various content (for example, they showed a profile on a specific record label).
When you buy a song, you can share it with friends via Google+ or by email address (for those that don't use Google+). They can listen to the whole song once for free. If you buy a whole album and do this, they can listen to the whole album once for free.
Google Music has an "artist hub" for artists to submit music. They can build artist pages, upload original content and set their own prices. There's a one time $25 fee to create an artist fee. Artists keep 70% of the revenue from sales. There are no annual or per album upload fees. You can release your music as frequently as you see fit. So you can put up demos and live concerts. You can change pricing and details at anytime. They're also working with YouTube to be able to sell songs from YouTube videos and channels.
Google also announced that it has hit 200 million Android devices activated worldwide. They're adding 550K devices a day.
The offering is available on the web today, and will roll out across Android devices over the next few days.