Record labels aren't reasonable when it comes to the online space by any stretch of the imagination. Spotify gives them most of its revenue, Apple, despite being the biggest music retailer in the world, still can't throw its weight around like it can in other areas.
But nobody has it worse than Google and for good reason. That's because nobody has the power to do something that the record labels want more than anything, to stop piracy.
OK, Google doesn't really have the power to stop piracy, but record label execs are so far removed from reality that they truly believe Google can press a button and "poof" no more piracy.
Unfortunately, Google has been caving into the pressure. It started censoring search suggestions and more recently, it started demoting sites that receive a lot of DMCA takedown requests. This despite the fact that most of those requests are bogus or erroneous.
But it's never enough
, so despite these compromises, Google is still having a hard time getting record labels to allow its cloud music service to offer a "match" system.
With music match, the app scans a user's computer for music and simply adds what it finds to his or her account without having to upload it all in the first place.
iTunes Match does this and Amazon's cloud service started offering the same more recently. Google can't do it yet since it's got two more record labels to get on board.
The fact that it got Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment to sign, as the latest rumors
say, is good news enough.
The problem seems to be, as always, the price. Google wants to offer the service for free, whereas both Apple and Amazon charge for theirs. Not that they wanted to, but they pay for the license to match the music. Google will have to pay as well, but it's trying to bring down the price so it can offer the service for free.