Amping up its music game, Google Music is expanding its reach to seven more countries. The Web giant announced today that consumers in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, and Portugal now have access to the free music storage service.
With this service, users can store up to 20,000 pre-purchased songs on Google Play and stream them via an Android smartphone or tablet or the Web. Several of the countries that now have access to Google Music will also get the "Artist Hub," which is a platform for independent and local artists to sell music directly to listeners.
Google debuted its free music storage service in 2011 with a handful of major record labels -- making it easy for users to buy new music. With the service, Google added music to the Android store, where it already sold movie rentals and books. The company also added a recommendations engine, using friend's selections, to help make music discoverable. By last October, Google's music library was complete with tunes from all of the major labels.
Google launched a redesign of its Google Play store app yesterday, with an emphasis on a simpler layout and content discovery. With the new interface, the company is aiming to make it easier for users to find new music.
Before adding the seven new countries to its roster today, Google Music was available in the U.S., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K.