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.