Google inks deal with European music publishers to add 5.5M songs

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Google has come to an agreement with several European music publishers in order to gain access to an additional 5.5 million songs from 35 different countries across the globe. The search giant worked with Armonia, a music alliance that represents French, Italian and Spanish licensing groups, according to a new report from the Associated Press.

The deal is said to be the broadest of its kind and includes music from artists like Lady Gaga and Rihanna as well as the British and American arms of Universal Music Publishing and Sony’s Latin division. By going through Armonia, Google was able to ink a substantial deal all at once instead of having to do it on a case-by-case basis.

Sami Valkonen, Google’s head of music licensing, said the company is thrilled to have reached an agreement with the Armonia societies. The executive pointed out that licenses like this are important in ensuring that artists and right-holders are paid adequately for their creative endeavors.

Google was interested in picking up the additional music in order to better compete with rivals like Amazon and Apple’s iTunes. Those companies have licensing agreements with publishers that vary from country to country. As a result of the agreement, Google users will now have access to more content in more places.

Google announced its digital music store almost a year ago to the day, debuting with millions of songs from record labels like EMI, Sony Music and Universal. The company announced late last month that Google Music would get song match – the ability to scan your computer for tracks and make them available through the service without first having to upload the music.

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