Google said to be launching music service next week

The Web giant sends out invitations to its "These Go To Eleven" event on November 16 where, one report says, the company will debut its new music service.

Google will reportedly take the wraps off its new music service on November 16.

The Web giant e-mailed invitations to an event that day that it is calling, "These Go To Eleven." That's a reference, of course, to the mockumentary "This is Spinal Tap" and its lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel, who had an amplifier with volume knobs that went to 11.

Google Android Music Beta
The beta version of Google Music. James Martin/CNET

Tech news Web site The Verge broke the news, reporting that its sources say the event will be the debut of Google Music.

Google declined to comment.

Music industry sources have told CNET that Google does not yet have licensing deals with all four of the major labels--Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and EMI. Earlier today, The Wall Street Journal reported that Universal would buy EMI's recorded-music unit for $1.9 billion, and Sony would pick up EMI's publishing operations for $2.2 billion.

CNET broke the news last month that Google was planning a social "twist" to a traditional MP3 download store. The Journal reported that the new music service would connect to the company's nascent social network, Google+.

Google has been negotiating with the labels, and sources have said that the top labels want Google in the market, but not all of them have been able to reach terms with the company. Sources told CNET last month that about a dozen large independent labels have reached agreements with Google.

Previous reports speculate that the service will let users buy tracks, just as they can from other online music stores. But Google will add a feature, according to those reports, that will let users give songs to their Google+ friends to listen to one time for free.

Google debuted a beta version of a music service earlier this year. That service didn't include the ability to buy songs from labels. Rather, users could upload their entire music libraries to Google's servers, making those tunes available to stream from any browser or Android-based device, such as a phone, a tablet, or Google TV.

Updated at 1 p.m. PT with more details and analysis.

CNET senior writer Greg Sandoval contributed to this report.

About the author

Jay Greene, a CNET senior writer, works from Seattle and focuses on investigations and analysis. He's a former Seattle bureau chief for BusinessWeek and author of the book "Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons" (Penguin/Portfolio).

 

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