Skip to main content

The music industry reacts to Google Music

music beta by googleEarlier this week, Google finally unveiled its online music service, for the moment simply named “Music beta by Google”. The company has been in a heated race with Apple and Amazon (prior to its Cloud Player launch) to bring cloud-based music programs to the masses, and while the final product has yet to be seen, it took a major step forward with the Tuesday beta launch.

The only hitch is that it went forward without partnerships from any music labels. As it stands, Google’s music service is currently limited to 20,000 pre-loaded songs – songs the Internet giant assured the Google I/O keynote audience were legally in its possession. After Amazon’s legal woes concerning its own music player’s questionable lack of label support, it’s a legitimate concern, but Google headed it off early, claiming the service is “completely legal” because it allows users to store their own music. “We very much respect copyright, and we designed this service so that you can use your own personal music collection out of respect for those who create the music,” he clarified. When asked how Google would make certain the music being stored on its service was obtained legally, the team said it would deal with any problems brought to their attention.

When it came to dealing with record labels however, Google simply said the industry wanted compromises it wasn’t willing to make. And, according to the Hollywood Reporter, the industry is “pissed,” as one NARM (National Association of Recording Merchandisers) conference attendee says. Not only are record label execs frustrated with the entire attempt at collaborating with Google, they’re less than pleased with the comments Google has made about the situation. Google director of content partnerships, Zahavah Levine, said “we’ve been in negotiations with the industry for a different set of features, with mixed results…a couple of major labels were less focused on innovation and more on demanding unreasonable and unsustainable business terms.”

According to the new report, money was one of the largest issues. Companies would get wind Google was paying another label more, and the prices began rising. Piracy was another issue, and the labels wanted to be assured music files from illegal downloading sites would be prohibited, and furthermore wanted Google to “eliminate links to pirate sites and services from its search results.” Google’s own indecision about its product may have also strained its relationship with labels, as did Apple’s competing project, which certain record companies may be trying to sustain a deal with.

Editors' Recommendations

Molly McHugh
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before coming to Digital Trends, Molly worked as a freelance writer, occasional photographer, and general technical lackey…
The Pixel 7 is Google’s iPhone, and it’s my favorite Android phone so far
Google Pixel 7 rainbow gradient home screen on a blue placemat

I’ve been a long-time user of Apple’s iPhone — since 2008, to be exact. I got my first iPhone as a birthday present, and it was the original one that started it all. Every year since, I’ve upgraded to the latest and greatest that Apple has to offer (most recently, the iPhone 14 Pro), and I don’t regret my decision one bit.

However, since I started at Digital Trends, I’ve been expanding my horizons by giving Android devices a try. There are a ton of different manufacturers, and each one has its own version of Android. But so far, my favorite has been Google’s own Pixel 7. To me, it’s just like Google’s version of an iPhone, and it’s quite lovely.
Android is to Google what iOS is to Apple

Read more
Can’t wait until Black Friday? Today’s best iPad Air deal
A young woman works on an Apple iPad Air with her Apple Pencil.

The Apple iPad Air is seeing an impressive discount at Amazon right now, one that knocks the price all the way down to $520 from its regular price of $600. This is a savings of $80, and while the coming Black Friday deals may hold a better deal to pounce on, the iPad Air is a high-demand piece of tech, and it’s rare to find a discount on it at all, let alone one offering more savings than what we’re seeing here. So it’s a good idea to scoop this iPad Air deal up while you can, and if the Black Friday iPad deals turn up something better, you can always return this purchase and grab your larger savings at that point.

Why you should buy the Apple iPad Air
Over the past decade, the tablet has become a computing device that’s relied upon daily by both businesses and individuals. Apple has played a large part in that, with its iPad lineup offering models to suit just about anyone. The Apple iPad Air sits close to the top of the lineup, offering many of the great features of the iPad Pro, while maintaining a more reasonable price point. In fact, the iPad Air now features the powerful Apple M1 chip, a processor that can be found in many of Apple’s computers. This gives the iPad Air more performance capability than you’ll find in most tablets. Both the Apple iPad Pro and iPad Air are suitable for tablet users with an eye on performance, and with more models in the iPad lineup than ever before, we’ve got you covered in researching the best iPad to buy.

Read more
Google’s Android monopoly finds its biggest challenge, and Apple might be next
Apps screen on the Google Pixel 7.

The Competition Commission of India slapped Google with two hefty fines over anti-competitive strategies that have allowed it to dominate the mobile ecosystem in India. Totaling over $250 million, the penalties reprimand Google for forcing smartphone makers to avoid Android forks, prefer Google’s web search service, and pre-install popular cash cows like YouTube on phones.

Google was also disciplined for forcing its own billing system on developers that allowed the giant to take up to a 30% share of all in-app purchases for applications listed on the app store. Google is not really a stranger to titanic penalties; The EU handed Google a record-breaking fine of approximately $5 billion in 2018 for abusing its dominant market position — a penalty that was upheld in September this year following Google’s appeal.

Read more