Google Enters Online Music Fray

Google, Universal, and a new start-up company called gBox are teaming up to sell music exclusively through an ad based format, bucking the iTunes style method of selling music online, Engadget reports.

Google will refer customers to Gbox, which will let consumers purchase DRM-free (unprotected) MP3 tracks for 99 cents a pop, spanning Universal’s entire music catalog. In turn, Universal will buy advertising space from Google.

As Engadget says, this begs the question: “why couldn’t Universal simply distribute the music itself?” We’ll hazard a guess that Universal didn’t want to bother building a separate portal that would compete with all the other online music stores, but the new arrangement does seem unnecessarily complicated.

Google-backed Gbox online music store uses Universal’s open MP3s [Engadget]