US android handset users can now access Google Music, where the search engine company has signed up the main music labels except, so far, Warner Music.
The service can not be accessed outside the US as Google has not completed negotiations with record labels to allow it to sell songs elsewhere.
The Google Music offering comes with exclusive content from Busta Rhymes, the Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Shakira, Dave Matthews Band and Pearl Jam (above).
Google is also hoping to link with smaller artists through its new Artist Hub. Musicians can add their own page for a $25 fee and set their own prices. Google will take a 30 per cent share of each sale.
Senior Vice President of Mobile at the search engine giant Andy Rubin was confident of success.
“Google Music helps you spend more time listening to your collection and less time managing it,” he said.
“And don’t forget to turn your speakers up to eleven.”
Songs are available in MP3 format encoded at 320Kbps and prices range from 69c to 99c and $1.29, the same as on rival Apple’s iTunes. There was no annoucement if or when it would reach the UK.
To counter Google’s move, earlier this week, Apple launched its iTunes Match service, another US-only initiative.
iTunes Match allows an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch user to download a copy of any of the songs they already own in their music collection on a “registered” computer to one of the devices.
Blackberry launched its BBM Music service in the UK on Tuesday. The firm offers users 50 DRM-protected tracks of their choice for £4.99 a month.
Members can also listen to their friends’ selections. The service is also live in the US, Canada and Australia.