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Google Has Begun Testing Google Music, But Labels Still Have Not Agreed To Additonal Use

image from blogoscoped.com Google has begun testing its cloud music services internally, according to a report by CNet's Greg Sandoval.  It's the same music system that we reported hackers had stumbled across a couple of weeks ago.  But Google's tests don't mean that launch is imminent.  According to our sources, though labels and publishers hope Google will enter the market and compete with iTunes, so far they've been unwilling to offer reasonable terms to license the new service. Here's the problem:

Unlike current talks between Apple and rightsholders over storing music bought on iTunes in the cloud and allowing play on a variety of devices, Google wants to store music purchased anywhere. Since they've got the purchase data, it's easy for Apple to know the tracks in their locker were bought from them.  But how can Google verify where tracks in their locker were bought or if they we obtained legally?

Many rightsholders also view playing music from the cloud as an "additional use" and believe that they deserve additional compensation for each play.  Both Google and Apple are, according to sources, willing to share some portion of their monthly locker fee with rightsholders. But just how much and how payments might be calculated and divided is still the subject of heated negotiations.

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5 Comments

  1. Artists should be paid each time their song plays over any cloud service. If someone requests the specific song, they should get a bit more. If the song just plays in a random playlist, they should get a little less. Revenues to pay the artists should come from a combination of advertising and subscription dollars. One not-for-profit site should host ALL the music and then smaller firms with varied GUIs should access the music from that site giving users a variety of streaming services to choose from.

  2. I agree with Rob, basically Google should operate somewhat like a live radio station where the listeners stream their choice of song instantly via internet/phone.Ascap ,BMI etc will defintely have to fight for be compensated for the artist spins.I believe they’ll pull it off,Google has great sponsorship.

  3. What if it is music that I already own? I can take my CDs or iPod anywhere and no one gets paid each time I play a track. Why should labels get paid for the convenience to consumers of not needing to always keep the physical media or iPod with them?
    Personally, I think that is bullshit. Also, I find it hard to figure out how these services would know whether my music was legit or not. I own over 500 CDs. How is the service going to know that all the music I ripped into my computer from those is legit?
    Currently, Artists don’t get paid for each time I play a song in my collection. I disagree that they should get paid just because I am streaming a song I own in my own digital storage locker.

  4. Storing my music in the cloud is extremely attractive to me if it’s accessible everywhere (laptop, TV, stereo, iPhone, iPad, car stereo). The prices I’m seeing mentioned online are extremely inexpensive compared to the other streaming services I pay for like Netflix. So far so good.
    I’m seeing a lot of complaints about how Google will determine what music was legally purchased and what wasn’t, but really, would that be their responsibility? I’m not clear on that, but I’m also not that concerned about it because I do purchase my music legally. Call me old fashioned.
    Plus, if artists are actually getting paid per spin, wouldn’t that actually be a way for the industry to make money from both legal AND illegal downloads? Sounds like a way to recoup some of that lost money. Can it be done? I don’t know. But I like the idea of it.
    I don’t want to take up too much more of the comment space here, but I blogged my personal thoughts about music storage in the cloud vs local storage (even vs good old fashioned physical discs), so if anybody’s interested, you can find that here: http://www.kelley-online.com/2011/03/music-storage-in-cloud.html
    At the end of the day, some say Google has too much of a monopoly, but their products have enabled me to do business successfully for many years now, so I’m loyal to them. I can say the same of Apple. Whichever one does it best will be the one that gets my subscription, and I’ll likely try them both instead of just taking someone else’s advice at face value.
    May the best monopoly win! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. You both hit on the major question – they can’t decide how they could know if you own something but the labels want to get paid.
    I don;t think its fair, but…

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