Digital music purchases set to be revolutionised as Google test new ‘listen now’ ads in search results
The landscape for consumers to make online music purchases is set to undergo a radical transformation following the Wall Street Journal’s revelation that Google are currently testing a new ‘listen advertisement’ on their search results pages, which will simplify the process of purchasing for music consumers on both PC and mobile devices.
Under the proposed modifications, a new ‘listen’ advertisement will appear directly above the right sidebar for results involving searches for specific artists or albums. The new ‘listen ad’ will provide consumers with a direct link to a streaming service, and are intended to simplify music purchases for prospective buyers, for the benefit of artists, record labels and Google itself. It has been reported that music authorities will pay Google on a click basis, in a similar manner to other businesses that use PPC. It had also been confirmed that the advertisements will appear on both PC’s and mobile devices, as the digital music landscape is set for its biggest shake up in years.
A recent study into the new facility has suggested that Google Play will emerge as the biggest winner from the advertisements introduction, with it appearing to be displayed the most frequently during searches. Rhapsody was the 2nd most featured music organisation, whilst Spotify came in at third, though their presence varied from artist to artist.
“We’re happy to help users quickly find legitimate sources for their favourite movies, music, and more via Google search,” Google’s spokesperson writes in an email.
“As always, the ads are ranked according to a variety of factors, including: bid, relevance, and click-through rate”. In its current stages of testing, the links appear in searches for specific artists and a multitude of albums, and take you straight to the music service. In its initial incarnation, you will be unable to access any music services which are used on a pay-as-you-play basis, though signing up for these subscriptions will be available through a simple click on the landing pages the advertisements link to.
Intriguingly, when you conduct a search for a certain song, the usual return result is the most popular corresponding video on YouTube. Moreover, if you search for a song which does not have an official media video, then Google will produce a tribute video of the song from YouTube as the top result; a trend that might be eradicated if the search engine is seeking to maximise its revenue in the digital music niche.
It will be interesting to see whether Google decides to remove these types of results in the future and instead restricts the results from searches to videos and links that provide direct help to singers and record labels only.
Make no doubt about it, the official implementation of this new feature to Google’s search results will significantly bolster the company’s future revenue from music purchases as it continues its relentless pursuit of conquering the online marketing world in the simplest manner possible.
Whilst some will question whether the introduction of a simple ‘listen advertisement’ will revolutionise the landscape of consumer purchasing of music, history suggests that it is the small changes that Google apply to their search engine which have the largest impact on their manipulation of consumers. Just think back to the local and location search frenzy circa 2010 and the relative lack of appreciation of the success it would eventually achieve just a year before.
The reality is that consumers are drawn to simplicity when it comes to making online purchases and the accessibility of direct links to Spotify, Google Play, Rhapsody and Beats will be music to the ears of the internet and mobile generation.