Google is said to be negotiating with the three major music labels about opening up a music streaming service, in the vein of Spotify or Deezer. Google has already been selling music in the US since late 2011 and in several other countries since.
But the company apparently wants to move beyond the download model and into on-demand streaming. The Financial Times reports that Google is now negotiating with music execs about the service with the hope of opening it up later this year.
Don't get too excited though, it took Google a couple of years to open up a download store and it did it with only three of the then four major labels on board.
EMI has since been absorbed by two of the other three big labels, Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment.
This explains why the RIAA is once again hammering on about Google not doing "enough" to stop "piracy." Given that the definition of "enough" keeps changing, it's safe to say Google will never do enough by the RIAA's shifting standards.
Google started penalizing sites that received a lot of DMCA takedown notices last summer, after years of pressure from the labels, movie studios and other copyright-dependent industries.
Now, the RIAA is saying that this obviously isn't working, since you can still find pirate sites if you look for them.
If there's one thing music labels know, it’s how to negotiate, just look at all the artists that have been "negotiated" out of their money and music over the years.
Needless to say, Google is going to have a hard time getting any deal, let alone a good one, from the labels without some big compromises on its part.
Thankfully for the labels, Google is more willing to compromise than ever, there's not much it won't give up on, as long as it's gradual enough that others and perhaps Google itself won't notice.