Ever since Google launched Google Music in the US we've been wondering just how Google managed to secure the licenses, especially when Apple have some such a firm hold with iTunes. However, whatever they did, they managed to get it done and Google Music has experienced some success in the States, thanks in part to its Music Locker type service.
In Europe though, things have been a little different, up until recently, there has been no Google Music and even when it did launch last week, there was little in there to warrant much more than a passing interest. I live in the UK and I'm a big listener to Music, the rest of the staff here at AH think I'm crazy because of the amount of storage I use on my devices for music. When there's no Google Music though, what am I supposed to do? The service has launched here but, I've only really had a quick look at it, thinking that there's no way it can match to iTunes.
With this latest announcement however, the Play Store might be getting closer and closer to their rival from Apple. Google have reached a major licensing deal with Armonia, a company that represents a vast alliance of publishers throughout the continent. With this deal, Google have secured around 5.5 Million works to be available in the Play Store. Something that is sure to turn heads in Europe and make users like myself, think twice about the service before striking it off. Armonia have called their massive licensing catalog "the biggest in the world" represent a number of labels, like the following: SACEM, SGAE, SIAE, UMPI, SONY Latino, PEER Latino, and SPA. The deal will allow Google to license the content in 30 countries.
Andrew Jenkis, Executive VP for UMPG had this to say on the deal:
"UMPG is proud to be part of the first joint publisher and multi-society licensing hub in Europe. While others seek to license single company or single society repertoires on a multi-territory basis in the digital space, Armonia is the only significant, operational multi-repertoire digital licensing hub in Europe and is a natural extension to SACEM and Universal's dual repertoire licensing hub, DEAL. I am delighted that we have been able to conclude this ground-breaking deal with Google Music. ... This is the future and Universal Music Publishing, SACEM SGAE and SIAE are leading the way."
Right now, Google Music is available in the UK, Spain, Italy, France and Germany. Whether or not this deal will make rollouts in other regions of Europe a possibility sooner rather than later is unclear but, the fact that Google has secured licensing across 30 countries should make it a whole lot easier.