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Google to get in the ring with Apple over digital downloads

Google’s long-rumored entry into the digital music game is likely happening just in time for Christmas. Andy Rubin, Google VP and primary director for Android development, has been in talks with some of the major labels in hopes of securing some kind of licensing that would put Google in direct competition with Apple’s dominance of digital download sales. The search giant’s plan includes a download store à la iTunes (but let’s hope way less of a resource hog) and a “digital song locker,” which would enable users to stream songs on their mobile devices wherever they may be. Google is way behind Apple in the music department, but being late to the party has never been cause for concern for Google, whose Android mobile platform is activating 200,000 devices each day, despite Apple’s passive-aggressive claims to the contrary. Label execs (too scared to reveal their names) are excited to have something to challenge Apple’s monopolistic decision-making when it comes to pricing and digital formats. The competition from Android’s rising ubiquity is bound to take a bite out of Apple’s (see what I did there?) unchallenged dominance since iTunes and iPods changed the game back in 2001. I for one cannot wait to dump iTunes by the wayside.