updated 10:10 am EST, Tue November 15, 2011
Google may have second major label at Nov 16 event
Google's last-minute music store negotiations may see it get just its second major label the very day its music store event takes place, insiders slipped on Tuesday. The primarily Android-focused store was already known to have EMI, but Bloomberg understood that Universal's deal might be struck on November 16, just as Google was due to unveil the shop. Sony and Warner still hadn't signed on due to worries over pricing and piracy, the source said, leaving Google with a catalog far smaller than at Apple or Amazon.
Little new had emerged from the nature of the service. Tipsters reinforced the view that the service would tap into Google Music to store and stream music to devices. It was likewise already known that Google wants to integrate Google+ sharing, possibly including free songs. A store leak showed that Google was planning to give away a free song every day.
The lack of major label support has mostly been attributed to an impasse with labels over the Google Music cloud service and Google's inherent nature. Unlike Apple, Google has reportedly refused to pay extra to store music, contending that it's just remote storage rather than a second use. As a search engine, Google has both publicly and privately drawn criticism from labels that want it to police copyright instead of themselves. They worry that Google Music might be used to ease piracy and have pressed Google to try to block pirated copies from the service and from its search results.
Google's timing will be a symbolic defeat as, despite hinting at a fully integrated music store and cloud storage as far back as May 2010, won't have both in place until two days after iTunes Match launched. Apple was willing to pay and pass on a cost of $25 per year in order to let users stream their collections without having to upload songs that were already in the iTunes Store.