Google currently has a beta program called Music Beta that lets users store all their music in the cloud and stream them to any compatible device. Record companies are not too happy about that because it doesn't give them any cut of the pie — and it opens up a can to streaming tons of pirated music.
An official Google music store would put the record companies at ease. They'd get their slice and Google theirs.
The New York Times says that Google "may be hoping to announce its store before Apple opens its cloud music program, iTunes Match, which was unveiled in June and is expected to be operational by the end of October."
Why now? It could have to do with Amazon.
Amazon's Kindle Fire is a tablet that's centered around the Amazon services ecosystem, much like how Apple's iOS devices rotate around iTunes and iCloud. If Google wants to really compete, it needs to start looking like a real media company that offers content for people to buy.
Google's said before that the next Android update — Ice Cream Sandwich — will unify its platform of smartphones and tablets. We'd argue it takes more than unifying the platform OS, but also providing easy to use access to content in order to stay relevant.
A music store first, could lead to a video store next, could lead to a real iTunes and Amazon services rival. It's only a matter of time, assuming Google can sort out agreements with content providers.
Via NY Times