Google is notorious for shuttering services and products. Last year, they killed off more than 30 products and services and just this July, they put to rest five more. Don’t think Google is that cruel, they’re just shutting down products and services that aren’t so popular, or have been merged with other Google products.
The latest casualty is Google’s music service in China, because it can’t handle the fierce competition in that market. Google announced that the Google Music Search in China will be shut down on October 19, and that users will be able to download their content before the service is completely gone.
“The influence of this product turned out to be lower than we expected, and as a result we decided to transfer our resources to other products instead,” Google said.
The company added, “this is part of an ongoing effort across Google to bring greater focus to our portfolio of products.”
Google declined to disclose information regarding the performance of the service in China.
A losing battle
Google offered the service to the Chinese market in 2009 in the hopes of turning consumers into consuming legal digital content by offering them free access to it and an edge over Baidu, China’s own search giant and Google’s top competitor in the region.
At first, it seemed like the search giant was succeeding, especially with the fact that Google reached agreements with record labels such as Warner Music Group Corp. and EMI Group Ltd. to offer songs for free and the labels would get a share off of the revenue from ads that appeared when Chinese Internet users searched for songs.
The problem started when Google tried to comply with Chinese laws and they moved their servers to Hong Kong, which resulted to users having more difficult time in accessing the service.
In the end, Google Music didn’t work out for a variety of reasons, reiterating the struggles Google has in making an impact in China. Their methods haven’t been replicated successfully here in search or consumer cloud, and Google’s mobile OS, Android, is facing growing competition in China as well. Alibaba is pushing its own open source OS for mobile manufacturers in hopes of encroaching on Android’s dominance in the region.