Google is in talks with music labels and aims to introduce its own music service by Christmas, Reuters reports.

The company intends offering a la carte music downloads alongside a digital song locker, the report explains. The latter feature would let song owners play their music anywhere. Negotiations have been led by Google’s Andy Rubin (Vice president of engineering).

Music industry bosses apparently hope Google will break Apple’s hold on the business, which accounts for 70 percent of all US digital music sales. However, no deals have been signed at present.

“Finally here’s an entity with the reach, resources and wherewithal to take on iTunes as a formidable competitor by tying it into search and Android mobile platform,” said a label executive.

A Google spokesman said the company has nothing to announce at this time. Meanwhile expectation remains that Apple has plans for music in the cloud, though video services remain at the top of the iTunes agenda.

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