Google Plans Music Service Tied to Search Engine

Google Inc. (GOOG) is preparing to roll out a music download service tied to its search engine later this year, followed by an online subscription service in 2011, according to people familiar with the Internet giant’s discussions with the music industry.

Google’s proposals are still vague, say these people, and it’s unclear whether it has struck any deals with record labels so far. But Google has been stepping up conversations about offering new music services tied to phones running its Android operating system along with the broader Web, said people who have been briefed on the talks. The launch of Google’s download music store is still months away, these people said.

The discussions come as Google has been pushing deeper into music. Last year, as a first step, the company began linking to partner websites like iLike and Pandora through its search engine, allowing people to stream songs with one click from its search page. Now, the company is looking to tie its own service to its search engine, too.

The discussions come as the Mountain View, Calif.-based search company has been ramping up on entertainment content. Google is also moving to add professional content on its YouTube video site, and is planning to roll out a digital bookstore this year.

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