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November 20, 2012

Google Expands its Online Music Platform with New European Deal

By Monica Gleberman, Contributing Writer

Google (News - Alert) has taken another step toward dominating the music world with a new agreement with European music publishing entities.

The new licensing deal between Google and European music publishers, artists and composers will help the online giant again access to 5.5 million musical works across 35 countries to add to its Music Manager.

In order to close the deal quickly, Google approached Armonia, which already has an alliance between publishers in France (SACEM), Italy (SIAE), and Spain (SGAE) – plus Universal Music Publishing International. This allowed Google to secure its access to millions of new songs and artists all within one deal – extending Google’s musical playlist overnight to help it compete with rivals such as iTunes, Amazon, and online streaming companies.

“We are thrilled to have reached an agreement with the Armonia societies. Licenses such as this are important in ensuring that artists and rights holders are rewarded fairly for their creative endeavors, and digital service providers are able to bring innovation by digital music service providers,” said Sami Valkonen, head of music licensing at Google. “Armonia is a welcome development in the on-going reform of pan-territorial licensing in Europe in helping simplify and speed-up the music-licensing process, which is crucial in fostering ongoing rapid innovation by digital music providers.”

It seems all parties involved in this agreement are happy with the new deal. Chairman of SGAE’s Board of Directors, Anton Reixa, said this deal means that songwriters and publishers from Spain will have a chance to be heard on one of the largest online platforms available.

SACEM CEO Jean-Noel Tronc said, “This signature is a symbol of the willingness of creators and publishers to contribute to the evolution of the licensing business models that requires, today, more cooperation between the rights holders and their representatives.”

Regardless of where you stand on this deal, one thing is clear: Google is coming after its musical rivals in a big way. 

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Edited by Braden Becker
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