The deal has been reached with publishing group Armonia, which includes publishing and licensing authorities from France, Spain and Italy. The agreement includes songs from leading music artists such as Lady GaGa and Rihanna.
The way different bodies within various countries worldwide handle the licensing agreements for their content can be a real issue for services like Google Play, delaying the rollout of services in all countries. Some will argue that if the licensing organisations are determined to stamp out digital piracy, then more needs to be done to give users better access to music and movies.
It is good to see Google working hard to improve their catalogue of digital content for European users, following the launch of Google Play Music to users in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy on November the 13th.
With Google Play Music, users can access many tunes at prices cheaper than those found on iTunes and Amazon, and Google will also allow users to upload up to 20,000 tracks, free of charge, which can then be accessed from a PC or Android device.
Sami Valkonen, head of Music Licensing at Google, said: “We are thrilled to have reached an agreement with Armonia societies. Licenses like this agreement are important to ensure artists and rights-holders are rewarded fairly, and that digital service providers are able to provide for European customers. Armonia is a welcome development in the ongoing reform of pan-territorial licensing in Europe in helping simplify and speed-up the music licensing process which is crucial in fostering ongoing rapid innovation by digital music service providers.”