Google’s YouTube, the entertainment industry’s longtime “frenemy,” is emerging as an important component of record label plans to adapt to consumers who are taking their music mobile.
A part of the streaming-music service that Google is aiming to launch this summer is a new YouTube product that would be designed for the desktop and mobile devices, according to a person familiar with the negotiations between Google and the major labels. Such a mobile offering, coupled with the powerful YouTube brand, could ignite the nascent streaming-music business, now led by Spotify for on-demand music and Pandora for Internet radio.
Warner Music Group inked a licensing deal with Google late yesterday, and talks continue with Universal Music Group and Sony Music, according to sources. The negotiations are part of a broader discussion between Google and the labels about launching two types of streaming-music services — one that’s part of Google’s Android music platform, Google Play, the other that’s part of YouTube. The broader plan, first reported last month by the Financial Times, was spelled out yesterday in a Fortune article.
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