Music.Google.com?

As Google more and more becomes a "media company," media opportunities cannot be missed. Here’s Gary Price speculating about and discussing the seemingly impending Google Music.

Music and other potential vertical domains raise the broader question of how Google intends to handle "vertical search" going forward — separate sites for everything (video, local, shopping, music, travel, financial, etc.)? Although one might argue for a separate "media hub" that contained video and music, etc.

Earlier I wrote about the current Google Music search as one indicator of how Google might be handling verticals and still maintaining the primacy of the Google.com domain:

As I've argued before, Google is "ambivalent" about verticals — the company wants to push out as much as it can through Google.com results. It created "News," "Local," "Shopping," "Blog Search," "Video" and some other arguable "verticals" because it felt it needed to do so to offer the optimal user experience. But the company doesn't want to keep doing this for every possible content area: Finance, Health, Cars, Jobs, Real Estate and so on.

Google would really start fragmenting its audience, which is a big problem with local generally. So what does it do as it expands its "content" offerings and introduces richer data for each new area?

It does what the company is starting to do in music and doing in weather. But an even better example is what it's doing with movie showtimes. Google is offering what we might call "Page 2."

You get a tease or a set of links on top of the search results page (similar to Local now), and then you'll be taken into a specialized content area. This is how Google will keep users going to Google.com (where most go anyway) and also offer a competitive "vertical" experience (Page 2), where the features and content can be tailored to the specific topic: Cars, Jobs, Real Estate, Movies, Finance, Music, etc.

Google also starts to create very valuable ad inventory on these pages — inventory arguably much more valuable than that on Google.com.

This is, I believe, how Google solves and resolves the problem of maintaining its almost religious devotion to "one box" and Google.com while offering richer/deeper content and specific navigation — a vertical user experience — in particular areas, which it needs to do to maintain market share and, ultimately, deliver more value to marketers over the long term.

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