Get ready to cut the ribbon; the search engine giant Google has just launched the long-awaited Google Music, a platform enabling musicians to connect with their fans. Google Music allows you to discover and purchase new music, upload your personal collection to the cloud, share purchased tracks with friends on Google+, and access your entire collection from the web or any device.  So what does this new digital platform mean for the user? And for the artist?

WHAT IS IT?

Google Music includes an online music store within Android Market that provides à la carte digital downloads of albums and tracks (tracks vary from free to $1.29). When you make a purchase through Android Market, the album or single automatically goes to your Google Music library, which can be thought of as a kind of locker.  In addition to storing downloads from the store, the locker can also hold up to 20,000 songs from your personal music collection.

Once in the locker, the music can be streamed on the web and any device, and even stored for offline listening on a mobile device. You’ll be able to access your songs on up to 10 authorized devices per account.

In addition, artists will be able to create an “Artist Page,” which will feature the artist’s albums for sale, as well as additional information and media such as  band photos and an artist bio.  To upload and publish content for Google Music using their artist portal, users must be residents of the United States (including its territories, protectorates, and insular areas). To edit an artist page, you can be located anywhere in the world.

SOCIAL INTEGRATION

If you want to share a song you just purchased with a friend, you can use the integrated social recommendation feature to share a full free play of the track via Google+.

HOW DO I GET MY MUSIC INTO THE GOOGLE MUSIC STORE?

TuneCore artists have TWO options for getting their music into Android Market:

–       They can have TuneCore deliver their music to Google

–       They can go direct to music.google.com/artists

There are a select number of artists who are already in the Google Music database. For artists not already in the Google Music database who decide to go direct, Google charges a $25 one time set up fee to create the artist account.

GOING DIRECT WITH GOOGLE

If you go direct, you will need to go to music.google.com/artists, customize your artist page, upload your music, agree to the Google Terms & Conditions and create a Google Checkout account so you can get paid and accounted to directly by Google.

Once your music is available in Android Market, it will appear in the general store and you’ll also have the option to create your own store and sell your own music off your blog, webpage and/or Google Music artist page.

The artist will get paid the same amount of money by going direct through Google or distributing via TuneCore or any other entity.

You will be able to set the price you want each song and/or album to sell for at the track level.

USING TUNECORE TO GET YOUR MUSIC INTO GOOGLE MUSIC

If you choose to use TuneCore to have your music distributed to Android Market,  and you do not already have a page in Google’s database, an artist page will be created automatically at no cost.

If you claim an existing page to edit your bio and photos, it will also be free.

Note: you will not be able to change any of the album or track data delivered by TuneCore.

WHAT DOES TUNECORE CHARGE TO GET INTO GOOGLE MUSIC?

At this time, TuneCore and Google are finalizing the digital pipeline to get your music into the Android Market store. Until this pipeline is done, TuneCore-distributed music will not appear in the Android Market store.

Once we are ready to deliver…

  • If you have a new release you would like to distribute, you can choose as many digital music stores as you would like, including Android Market, for the flat $49.99 per year per album or $9.99 per year per single.
  • If you have a pre-existing release at TuneCore that you would like TuneCore to distribute to Android Market, there will be a one-time fee of $1.98 per release.

If you use TuneCore to get your music into the Google Music store, you will have the benefit of being part of Google’s largest music supplier.  Although we cannot speak for Google, we suspect we may be able to get you answers to your questions about the Google Music Service more quickly than if you go direct with Google.

HOW DO ARTISTS GET PAID FROM GOOGLE MUSIC?

Payments from Android Market will come into your TuneCore account just as they do from the other stores we distribute to: as soon as the store reports your sales and money to us, we’ll post your sales data and money directly into your TuneCore account. Then you can withdraw it 24/7, 365 days a year, via Electronic Funds Transfer, PayPal or check.

If you discontinue using TuneCore to distribute your music but still want to keep it in Android Market, you would need to go to music.google.com/artists and set up an account directly. Artists who create pages directly on Google Music can still opt-in to TuneCore distribution later, but Google will not refund the $25 set-up fee.

UPDATE ON 11/21

TuneCore is set up and ready to go.  The hold up is solely on Google’s side

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