Thursday, August 18, 2011

How The Google Motorola Acquisition Helps the Music Industry

Billboard posted an article about Google's acquisition of Motorola's Mobile Division and what it could mean for the music industry.

"With the acquisition, Google now has the same kind of software and hardware integration that Apple (as well as the struggling RIM) enjoys with all its products. And if Google wanted to plant a flag in the mobile space, it could hardly find a better brand that Motorola to do so. Motorola once dominated the market share for U.S. mobile phones. It actually made the first portable mobile phone ever. The brand name will forever be wedded to the mobile phone market, despite losing its footing several times over the years (first when mobile phone technology went from analog to digital, and again when the market shifted to smartphones)."

"So what's all this mean for the music industry? A few thoughts:

-    Integration: Google can now finally make a smartphone that fully integrates hardware and software design from the ground up… like Apple does. It will certainly take some time for Google to do this effectively, but once accomplished should lead to some very interesting possibilities in terms of user interfaces and features-including content.

-    Distribution: Google stumbled the first time it attempted to build its own phone (the Nexus, which relied on a third-party partner to make the device) primarily because it had no way to sell it other than online. Motorola products are available globally directly from multiple wireless operators.

-    Music: Google Music is a cloud-based music service. It's still in a beta mode as Google works out its licensing issues. But it's not hard to see a roadmap that leads to a fully streamed music service in the relatively near future. Embedding a streaming music service into a mobile phone built from the ground up for that purpose could be a compelling offer, IF Google/Motorola can also get the wireless operators on board.

-    Tablets and Set-Top Boxes: Any cloud or other type of streaming music service is made more valuable the more places it can be accessed. By controlling the creation of not only mobile phones, but also tablet computers and (perhaps more importantly) set-top boxes, Google now has the chance to embed whatever Google Music eventually becomes into the living rooms of millions of homes."

Read the entire article here.

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