And with Motorola's set-top box technology, Google is positioned to turn a streaming music device into a broader home entertainment device -- one that could include TV.
"Google's first foray into [the home entertainment] market didn't go so well, mainly because the cable industry, the networks, and other content providers were against them," said Olds. "Now it's easy to imagine a deal that turns Google's enemies into allies... and moves the industry forward into the 'watch anything anywhere on any device' future."
And that means Apple should see Google's moves as a threat to its entertainment-focused iTunes business.
"In a lot of ways, iTunes is the lynchpin that provides so much content for other Apple devices," said Olds. "Apple's massive distribution footprint has allowed them to call the tune with record companies and other content creators. If Google were to jump into this market with a model that gives the content creators a solid platform, a huge potential audience, and a somewhat larger piece of the pie, they might look to make a move away from Apple and iTunes."
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