Google Sick Of Dealing With Labels, May Drop Portions of Music Service

image from Google is so tired of negotiating with record labels about licensing that they may drop part of their planned Google Music service in frustration. WMG is apparently the worst offender with the label’s head of digital, Michael Nash, reportedly telling Google that they should charge users least $30 a year for a robust cloud music locker.

Google is said to want users to be able to try the service for free with the first 500 tracks stored by users at no charge.  WMG and perhaps others are unwilling to budge. "Google is just about at the end of their rope with the major label licensing process,” according to industry veteran Wayne Russo.

Google's logical move may be to launch a more limited product without licences much as Amazon did recently.  Despite public condemnations, no labels or publishers have challenged Amazon Cloud with litigation.

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  1. Streaming pays nothing to artists. Not sure how this is innovation?
    Radio has been streaming for years. Nothing new.

  2. Jim,
    There is more than one type of currency. For instance, there are reviews, there is word of mouth, and there is airplay. Airplay/streaming lets fans know this band/song exists, and without that the artist is dead. So, yes the artist does get paid for streaming, just not in dollars and cents.
    It’s innovative because these services aren’t like Pandora, they use purchased music and stream it back to the owner. This “streaming” services promotes actually buying music, rather than something like Pandora which just lets people listen without having to buy anything. Two very different things.
    Up until Amazon’s announcement the other day, there has not been a service like this, and it something that people have been wanting for a long time, and the labels have said NO. Moving forward and creating services that enhance the experience for fans is innovation, and what the labels are stopping.

  3. good points, but playing devil’s advocate…$30/yr?! I pay $30/month for a gym membership….am I crazy for thinking that’s not steep?

  4. While I’m sure with the labels still smarting from the deal they got locked into with iTunes, they want to make sure they maintain the upper hand here and might be playing hardball, Google is only looking out for itself not it’s partners in this deal, if there ever is one.
    With all the info Google collects and refuses to delete, including that email you hit the delete button on, you know they’re all about too much control and want to control this situation too. The labels control the rights to the songs, they should call the shots, not Apple or Google. Besides, 500 song trial?!? That’s madness. That’s 50 albums in the offline world.

  5. “So, yes the artist does get paid for streaming, just not in dollars and cents”
    Wow… And how are you paid at your day job?

  6. If you are registered with bmi or ASCAP you get $$$$ for music played on the radio. That’s why you get published. They algorithmically average how many times you get played on radio station, so naturally lady gaga is going to get not than your average published garage band. And your publishing company is going to take half of what you get.

  7. Maybe they should look at a service promoting music from artists who are not tied up with labels.

  8. Phil,
    I may be a jaded artist or too much of business man to agree with what you’re saying. I hear this all the time: email is a currency, streaming vids are a currency. The later actually is… If you can sell ads on it. I mean when was the last time you were late on a car payment and you were like “hey I don’t the money but will and email do?”
    I actually agree with the labels cloud technology will rape the music industry’s already dead carcass. Do the math those monthly dollars won’t add up and like with radio royalties only major artists will benefit.

  9. Yes you are – your gym has a building to maintain, staff salaries, heating etc etc. The cost of providing a file locker is close enough to zero for companies like dropbox to offer 2GB for free (and that number can only get bigger as technology progresses). Anything >0 is expensive.

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