Just one week after bringing Play Music to France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK, Google has reached a major licensing deal with Armonia, a music licensing initiative that represents an alliance of publishers from across Europe. The deal will give Play customers access to Armonia's 5.5 million musical works licensed across over 30 countries.
Armonia's repertoire, which it calls the "widest in the world," includes works from an alphabet soup of collective management societies, including SACEM, SGAE, SIAE, UMPI, SONY Latino, PEER Latino, and SPA.
Besides giving customers access to a huge number of new pieces, this deal is significant in that it represents a unique strategy in music licensing, whereby Google is gaining access to licensing for over thirty countries at once, rather than licensing in countries on a one-by-one basis. Andrew Jenkins, Executive VP for UMPG, explained the significance of the approach:
UMPG is proud to be part of the first joint publisher and multi-society licensing hub in Europe. While others seek to license single company or single society repertoires on a multi-territory basis in the digital space, Armonia is the only significant, operational multi-repertoire digital licensing hub in Europe and is a natural extension to SACEM and Universal’s dual repertoire licensing hub, DEAL. I am delighted that we have been able to conclude this ground-breaking deal with Google Music. … This is the future and Universal Music Publishing, SACEM SGAE and SIAE are leading the way.
It should be noted that while Armonia's repertoire is licensed over 35 countries, this doesn't mean that Play Music is now open to all of those countries. Presumably, though, this will speed up the process considerably.
We can't be sure exactly when Armonia's repertoire will show up in the Play Store (it shouldn't be long), but the deal is great news for European customers looking to get more use out of Google Music. For more info, check out Armonia's press release, linked below.