Does Google Respect Music and Content Generally?


Following from my post focusing on the need for Independent labels to be ensured parity with the major labels, sources have provided TMV with some dynamic new information regarding the real figures Apple actually paid to the major labels for its new iCloud product. So firstly, TMV stand corrected. As it turns out most media outlets published incorrect facts that were first published by the Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal. Very reliable sources actually inform TMV that the TOTAL figure paid out by Apple to Majors and Independents is closer to $20 million USD not the reported $150 million.

Other sources have also stated that in terms of iCloud, Apple dealt with independent labels on a fair basis. Apparently the same goes for Spotify. It has been put to TMV that in most dealings both Apple and Spotify understand that without independent content, their services would have an uphill battle surviving as digital music services.

On another note these same sources have stated that it would have been more apt to insert the names Google and Rdio into the places where I had named Apple in last weeks post. Essentially, it was put to TMV that Google and Rdio display an attitude of contempt and utter disrespect when it comes to negotiating with content owners generally.

In other words Google does not get the FACT that independent music makes up a larger market share than any single major label in ANY territory. This being the case on a personal level I’ve decided to start using Microsoft Bing as my search engine of choice moving forward. Albeit this choice is small and on a personal level, I would encourage all independent artist’s, labels and publishers to make a similar move.

Reinforcing that independent music is critical to any digital music propositions success, Merlin the global independent music representative body have numerous FACTS provided by Neilsen. Firstly, the “US albums market share for independents is 57% greater for digital than physical sales”. Ramming this home is a further figure that “paid tier usage of Merlin repertoire on streaming services outstrips free tier usage by 20%”.

From those aforementioned figures Spotify could and should launch in the US without WMG catalogue. Spotify will not be the loser WMG will. As they way it is not progressing warner music will probably only lock down a US launch deal with Spotify when Bronfman Jnr has had a lobotomy – which by the way TMV believes would be of immense benefit to the global music economy.

As stated by Charles Caldas, CEO of Merlin; “Services that are serious about providing their customers a compelling product that encourages them to pay, and stick around, would do well to take the time to understand the new dynamic for indies in the digital market, and analyze carefully what their customers are demanding.”

On another note, reinforcing Google’s clear disrespect for content owners – upon a little digging I found that Google are still actively promoting piracy of content owners assets. Whilst checking out their recently launched tools to mobilise SME’s web properties I was checking out the available templates and came across a template which was enabling anyone to set up a website allowing free downloads of MP3’s.

Please view the following screen grabs for a clear view of Google’s disrespect for content owners assets being traded for free via its own:

– search engine
– website building tools
– mobile m site building tools for SME’s

So basically, Google is promoting its own website templates and mobile tools to enable would be file sharers and the scum that set up such sites. Not sure if Google, hosts them as well, via its “sites” suite of tools. But if it does host these sites based around the web templates it promotes then surely there is some legal redress against Google for encouraging it’s users to use its own website templates that promotes illegal activity.

The irony of all this is that without content and content producers who need to and deserve to make money from their endevours, Google and more importantly Youtube would not have a business or even be in existence. Google its time to take your social and corporate responsibility to society at large seriously. If you do not do so, then in TMV’s view Google are nothing more than criminals who are directly involved as well as help to facilitate theft of intellectual property.


Jakomi Mathews – Founder & Editor, The Music Void

Discussion6 Comments

  1. The simple truth is that the mp3 SHOULD delineate between legal and illegal copies. Copyright owners have human rights (to be paid) too!

    And as far as Apple, they royally screwed over the majors at least 7 times more than we thought. $20million is shockingly and disgustingly low.

  2. I’m cautiously optimistic that, in the name of living up to their “we’re not evil’ motto, Google will get their licensing act together, but since the company seemingly intends to use every nickel to further increase its chokehold on the ‘clickonomy’, I suspect they’ll have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into alignment with content creators’ human rights. Sign me up for the class action.

    @Roman: you have the right to decide whether to sell or give away your music or to reserve some or all rights to your music; encouraging others to infringe is simply not cool, and that is what Google has been doing, and they do it for one reason; money.They actively promote piracy, and they do that for one reason; money. Maybe they should remove the word “not” from their motto.

    By my lights, MP3s probably should be free, their worth is only in demonstrating a vague idea of what the music actually sounds like, but if I give an MP3 away, and some other clown turns around and sells it, or uses it to sell advertising on his site, without remuneration, it’s unfair and illegal. When I politely ask for my share of the proceeds, and he flips me the bird, it’s insulting.

  3. Sure it is. And people are constantly setting up sites to distribute ‘free songs’ (the phrase used in Google’s template) that are not copyright music. Oh, hang on a minute, they aren’t, are they?

    If 90%+ of sites are infringing copyright, which they surely are, then Google is knowingly facilitaing illegal activity.

  4. So I’m a musician, perhaps my view should be represented? Well in this article they’re most certainly not.

    File sharing is part of the marketing. Attacking and suing fans (as some labels have done, much to the chagrin of many of the artists they claim to represent) hurts the fan relationship and ultimately leads to fans getting turned off. Someone who shares one of my songs with a friend, I don’t see that as a loss, but a dual-benefit. First and foremost it’s a net social benefit. Music is culture and spreading it is the promotion of culture. But it’s also a benefit to me, because that person may be interested in my concert or in any of my other music – I directly gain fans that way, hence I do believe that file sharing is part of marketing.

    Is file sharing a direct monetary loss? I don’t think so – it doesn’t cost money to make a digital copy and the fact that it’s digital means there are unlimited amounts of them. Physical things that are limited, say, my time at a concert are definitely a loss if everyone sneaks in without paying (though even at live shows I do my best to accommodate when the show is sold out for example).

    I also think it’s silly and unreasonable to hold Google responsible for what is on the Internet. They’re a search engine and they index (algorithmically) what sites are online.

    The one place I will agree with the article is MP3s – I’m not a fan, the compression is super crappy. FLAC or Ogg-Vorbis is definitely the way to go.

    Much love.

  5. Correct, since the mp3 does not discriminate between legal and illegal copies, a human must (if the human wants to be taken seriously by those creating or promoting sales of the legal copies).

  6. MP3 does not equal copyrighted music. It is simply an audio file format/compression scheme that can be used for any audio content.

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