So, the labels have basically decided they like the idea of Google challenging Apple, but not actually letting Google sell their music to do it. Apparently they were still laboring under the delusion that they have any bargaining power, which Google just decided to demonstrate to the one remaining holdout, Warner Music Group, that they don’t.
First and foremost, streaming services on Google Music will remain free. Yep, no subscription, no nothing. That muttered groan of fear you heard was Pandora and Spotify wondering if they’ll still be around in a year.
And, in a second slap to the face, Google has also announced Artist Hub, which allows any musician to just directly upload their music to the site. Pay a one-time registration fee and that’s that. No CDBaby or TuneCore to deal with. And, of course, if some known artists decide they like that 70% royalty on songs, well, that’s just fine by Google!
We’re going to go out on a limb here and say that next year is not going to be good for record company profits. Just a guess.