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Google Music Store Talks Have ‘Accelerated’

Google is in “accelerated” talks regarding the launch of its Google Music Store, according to the New York Post. One aspect of those talks are said to be discussions with Harry Fox Agency, which the Post sees as a sign that discussions with labels have proceeded to the point where Google can begin to plan for mechanical royalties.

In this context, Google would be speaking with Harry Fox because it is likely planning on selling digital downloads that will require it to be a licensee. Harry Fox issues mechanical licenses for music publishers, collects and distributes those mechanical royalties and distributes synchronization fees for licenses granted prior to 2002.

It would make sense for Google to offer some sort of cloud-based service in addition to a download store. Mechanical royalties would not arise from such a service.

As Billboard reported last week, Google has hired attorney Elizabeth Moody to help it secure deals with copyright owners in the music industry. “Where it’s been going recently, it’s subscription models again, but it’s streaming from the cloud,” she told Billboard. “The technology has advanced where we can do that now, and the price points have come down.”