updated 06:10 pm EDT, Wed July 21, 2010
Google gets lawyer for tough music streaming deal
Google has had to take on a high-profile music lawyer to smooth over mounting problems in launching its Google Music service, insiders said this evening. Digital music attorney Elizabeth Moody has been hired to ease negotiations as none of the major labels appear willing to agree to terms that Google would consider viable for service, which would involve streaming music to the desktop and to Android phones. Moody has represented services such as MySpace Music and Spotify in the past and could potentially know how to reach common terms.
Tips sent to TechCrunch imply the music studios all have different aims and that most of the objections stem from how to handle free trials. Labels differ on how long customers should be allowed to test the service for free, and whether or not possible subscribers should already have a credit card attached to the account before they can start for free. Pricing is also an issue, although the industry tendency towards $10 unlimited streaming may reduce its importance.
Google may be in a rush to get the service completed as quickly as possible. While rumors of a fall launch date aren't confirmed, the search firm may have to have some form of service out to draw even with Apple. Reports persist of a cloud-based iTunes also in development; Apple too may have licensing issues but could feel compelled to get a deal before its annual music event in or near September.
Both Apple and Google alike are either known or suspected to want streaming as an option since devices like the iPad and iPhone are often space-limited. For Apple, the deal could include TV shows and movies.