Google Music library aided by pan-European deal with publishers
19th Nov 2012 | 20:50
5.5 million new tracks coming to service
Google has signed a deal with an alliance of European music publishers to boost its Play Music library by 5.5m tracks.
The accord with Armonia, the group which represents the combined interests Spanish, Italian and French publishers, will see artists like Lady Gaga and Rihannah added to the Google Music library in 35 countries.
Google's agreement with Armonia, which includes the Universal Music catalogue, was essential in allowing Google to roll out its Play Music download store in Europe last week.
It means that the company was not required to negotiate country-by-country licensing agreements with publishers as rivals Amazon and Apple have.
Google will still be required to pay similar licensing fees to Apple and Amazon, but this new deal looks to have dramatically sped up it's ability to get its European service out of the door.
"Armonia is a welcome development in the ongoing reform of pan-territorial licensing in Europe in helping to simplify and speed-up the music-licensing process, which is crucial in fostering ongoing rapid innovation by digital music service providers," said Sami Valkonen, Google's head of music licensing.
Armonia, and similar pacts between publishers, will undoubtedly make it easier for established names and digital music-based start-ups to bring their services to more territories.