Search engine approaches record labels in bid to rival Apple

Google is putting forward proposals for a new music service which features an à la carte-style digital download store and social networking locker, according to sources at the company.

The search engine has approached several record labels with the aim of launching a service which charges consumers about $25 (£16) a year to store songs in a cloud-based locker, which can either be streamed or downloaded, reports

The locker also offers social networking features, such as allowing users to send playlists to fellow subscribers, entitling those users to listen to each song in its entirety once.

Google would also make available a web-based music player and a mobile application for playback of tracks from the cloud-based locker.

The download store, meanwhile, would operate like a conventional digital retailer, allowing fans the ability to purchase individual tracks and digital albums.

It is thought that labels would sell Google music at the conventional wholesale rate of $7 (£4.50) for a digital album and 70 cents (45p) for most tracks.