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Labels furious at Google Music Beta, wanted cash up front

updated 08:30 am EDT, Thu May 12, 2011

Music labels explain fallout for Google Music Beta

Music labels are outraged that Google's Music Beta didn't give them what they wanted, insiders detailed Thursday morning. Industry officials are "pissed" Google chose the reduced but legal option instead of paying for licenses. Many labels wanted immediate cash advances, and the prices went up across the board as individual labels hiked their demands and then led to others wanting to match the terms, Hollywood Reporter said.

As suspected in the past, labels also wanted to use the prospects of a deal as a bargaining chip for censorship on Google's search engine, according to this version of events. Music studios blame search results for piracy and want Google to scrub these services from its index. Without the need to negotiate, the labels no longer have that leverage.

Some also argued that bootleg songs should be screened out, although how they would check if they could at all wasn't said.

Corroboration also came for talk of Google being indecisive and possibly sabotaging its own efforts. The company "kept changing the details" and wanted only a music subscription service, only to later propose an advanced media locker that would have matched up songs with a database and streamed without having to upload.

Some labels may also not have wanted a rival to iTunes as badly as others, tipsters said. Earlier leaks had revealed that labels preferred Apple's upcoming service precisely because Apple was willing to make deals and get a more advanced cloud music system than Amazon or Google.

The record industry is commonly expecting Apple's service to arrive either in late spring, possibly at or near WWDC early in June, or else early in summer.

by MacNN Staff



  1. phillymjs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Imagine that...

    The labels were greedy, so a way was found to avoid paying them at all, and instead of a fair an equitable sum they get nothing.

    How many times must that lesson be repeated before these dinosaurs learn their lesson?

  1. rombe3jr

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Music labels should build their own platform instead of complaining about everything other companies come out with.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bye bye, greedy b*stards

    The music industry will kill itself. The only question is how soon.

  1. cwsmith

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The music *labels* will kill themselves off. The musicians themselves -- composers, performers, producers -- will still find ways to make money from their work. They've done so for centuries, before labels existed, and they'll continue after labels are relegated to the history books.

    The public perception is that artists make little or no money from record sales, therefore stealing is justified. I think if that perception were changed -- if artists were getting paid more fairly for their work -- that piracy would diminish.

    In the end, I think artists will be better off by eliminating the fat middle man, but it's going to be a bumpy road to get to that point.

  1. George3

    Joined: Dec 1969


    they did what?

    "Google chose the reduced but legal option instead of paying for licenses."

    What does that mean?

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Many musicians already found this thing called iTunes.

    Google says it will remove "pirated" music. The problem is, how will Google know?

  1. mhammo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Music industry still doesn't GET IT

    This just proves they don't get it. It's all about choice, low/reasonable cost, easy sharing between your devices and computers. It really couldn't be more simple. I will happily pay for music but not at the high prices the labels want. And I sure as heck don't want to be FORCED to buy a whole album.

    If songs were between .50/1.00 I would actually buy more music. The prices have been inching up lately, because of the labels heavy handed tactics, and consequently I have been purchasing LESS music.

    Maybe the new group that recently bought Warner will get it.

  1. c4rlob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple in control

    All of this pisses off the labels because it leaves Apple with the most leverage.

    Amazon and Google setup services beneath everyone's expectations. So Apple can actually walk away from talks with the record industry if they don't meet Apple's demands, because at the very least they can do the same thing as Amazon and Google with a modified MobileMe/iTunesCloud. I'm guessing Apple would rather one-up Google and Amazon, but Apple is a master at user-experience so they don't necessarily need expanded access to licenses to gain an advantage.

  1. facebook_Charles

    Via Facebook

    Joined: May 2011


    The music industry is pissed at the fact that ...

    they don't matter.

    The print publishers, the RIAA and later the MPAA have fought, and thankfully lost, every single battle against technology since the invention of the Jacquard loom.

    If it was up to them we'd all be sitting in silence in rooms lit only by candle light. They have resisted, obstructed, whined, bitched and moaned about any mechanical means of reproduction since they feel that if THEY don't produce it, and get their take, it must be illegal.

    Basically, they are trying to tax us for having sense organs.

    I place them in the same category as Mullah Omar who outlawed music in Afghanistan at the turn of the 21st century.

    Amazon and them Google ignored them because they are largely irrelevant.

    In fact, they have never mattered.

    Google can buy out the big four music companies and the seven other RIAA clients and not miss a payment on their stock dividends.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: they did what?

    "Google chose the reduced but legal option instead of paying for licenses."

    What does that mean?

    They chose the option which offers less 'features/capabilities' (i.e. a store, using a master recording at google instead of storing each person's copy of the same song, etc), but one which doesn't require paying the labels any money at all.

    Or, to put it another way, when they made their announcement, a bunch of google executives were in their offices howling like hyenas at how they just screwed over the labels over their own greed.

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