In one some might consider as a huge paradigm shift, Google has announced that it will be incorporating music tracks into its search results in the US only through a new service called Onebox.
Google reports that two of the top 10 search queries of all times - music and lyrics - are music related. Any search for a song name, album, lyrics or an artist will automatically pull a preview of tracks that are delivered by Google's official partners such as Myspace (via iLike) and Lala.
Clicking on any links will then bring up a pop up player and stream the content as well as offering the option to buy the track. In addition, Myspace's pop-up player will offer other information such as links to videos, tour dates, ticket sales etc.
Google has also partnered with the likes of iMeem, Pandora, Rhapsody and the four big music labels - EMI, Sony Music, UMG and Warner Bros, to bring this feature.
Obviously, the reason why it could mark the beginning of something bigger is that Google could stand making millions of revenue out of this scheme through an affiliate or commission-based structure.
It would also be the first time, as far as we can remember, that Google could be making money out of its search engine results pages. Significantly, the music results would be displayed at the very top of the SERP.
Traditionally, Google has focused on getting money through its Adsense programme but clearly, there is a need to go beyond it now as the search giant looks for other revenue streams to complement existing ones.
Google has yet to say whether this scheme will be rolled out to other countries and when. Still we're very, very concerned about what's coming next. Will Google leverage its huge influence to become a mega commission-based engine and like Microsoft did some months ago, provide with a cashback system for its users? Oh and do notice that Apple is not in there.