gBox

I missed this (MarketingVox) while traveling to the Doc's: A string of announcements, unintended quotes and other moves have led to the early unveiling of a new music purchasing service. A correction has been made to this story. The gBox is a product purveyed by Navio with ads served…

I missed this (MarketingVox) while traveling to the Doc’s:

A string of announcements, unintended quotes and other moves have led to the early unveiling of a new music purchasing service.

A correction has been made to this story. The gBox is a product purveyed by Navio with ads served by Google; it is not itself a Google product.

First came the news that Universal Music Group would begin selling DRM-free music through a variety of outlets. Rhapsody, Best Buy and Amazon were all named partners in offering tracks from UMG, which would be in MP3 format and priced at $.99 a piece.

The non-inclusion of Apple’s iTunes as a place for the songs was a direct slap in the face of the company, which UMG has been sparring with recently.

Some time ago the label announced it would not renew its long-term contract with Apple, opting to go day-to-day. Universal has been among the loudest calling for a new – preferably variable – pricing model on iTunes, which Apple has steadfastly refused to address.

With all this comes news of the trump card, the gBox by Navio. The gBox serves DRM-free music, courtesy of Universal, as well as ads from Google.

While gBox is not a music storefront in and of itself, it’s awfully close. Users who search for the name of a Universal artist or band will be shown an ad, bought by Universal, that takes them to where they can buy the song. Google then gets a percentage of all referrals.

I will be getting smarter on this soon, and report back as soon as I can (embargoes, etc. will delay the reporting). In short, this is Google proving its PPA model, and doing os in a way that might make Eric’s board meetings at Apple a bit uncomfortable for a while.

4 thoughts on “gBox”

  1. My only question in all this is what sort of ads Google will be able to serve on Navio’s site?

    Remember the mission statement: “Thousands of web site managers take advantage of our Google AdSense program to deliver ads relevant to the content on their sites” and “Google firmly believes that ads can provide useful information if, and only if, they are relevant to what you wish to find.”

    In Navio’s case, it appears that their content is band names and song names, rather than news stories or personal blog content. So how is AdSense going to work? If I search for rapper “50 cent”, am I going to see an ad for the Franklin Mint? If I search for 70s band “Hot Chocolate” am I going to see an ad for Hershey bars? If I search for “The Sex Pistols”, am I going to see ads from Trojan and/or Smith & Wesson? ‘Cause that is how your typical Adsense works, with keyword targeting, right? Or is Google going to do something more intelligent around the music itself?

    No, no.. I’ve got it: When someone searches for Beatles tune “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, we’re gonna see ads from De Beers!

    My point is that if ads are only being served that are “relevant to what [I] wish to find”, as per the Google mission statement, then that is going to be a very short list of advertisements appearing on Navio’s site. What ads are going to be relevant to me when I search for “This Will be Our Year” by the Zombies? I pretty much just want the song. And I fear that I’ll just be served ads for some upcoming horror flick.

  2. John – Glad you are reporting the story right. All of the others have simply grabbed one line of whisper and gone off to write stories without any facts. Your observations are right on!

  3. No more gift registries. You know, it used to be just for weddings. Now
    it’s for babies and new homes and graduations from rehab. Picking out
    the stuff you want and having other people buy it for you isn’t gift
    giving, it’s the white people version of looting.

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