If you’ve ever searched Google for song lyrics, you may have noticed the company doesn’t offer an Instant Answer card like it does for movie details, sports scores, weather and lots more. The reason behind this is licensing -- in order to host a song’s lyrics, websites must pay royalty fees to the song’s rights owner. Well, Google is now doing just that.
The search giant has partnered with lyric licensing service LyricFind to add lyrics from over 4,000 publishers to Google’s search results and within Google Play Music.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but the companies did mention it would be a multi-year partnership that includes international licensing as well. LyricFinder Chief Executive and co-founder Darryl Ballantyne projects publishers and songwriters seeing "millions" of dollars in additional revenue from this arrangement. Royalties are paid based on the number of times a lyric is viewed. The more it’s viewed, the more publishers get paid.
Google has some monetization options, too. It appears search results will show most of the lyrics on the search page but you will have to click on a link taking you to Google Play to see them in full, where users can also buy the song or start a free radio station.
Right now there are tons of lyrics sites earning advertising revenue by reprinting lyrics whether or not they are licensed to do so -- and some are very sketchy too. The new feature is likely to save users some time and also have a huge impact on traffic for those sites.
Image credit: The Beatles lyrics illustration by DilWhopp