Google India has pulled the covers off the Google Music service in India, offering users access to live streaming of Hindi film songs online. This is not new, but the reach that Google has makes it the service to watch. The implementation of Google Music India is similar to that of Guruji.com, which has been sued by music label T-Series, but in Google’s case, they’ve partnered with companies that have licensed content legally: Music label Saregama, Web18 owned In.com and the Hungama-212 media JV – Saavn. Like Guruji, Google music search suggests albums, allows users to search artists, films and albums, and offers to even sort music by date. Google music search doesn’t have top 10 lists yet.

Monetization

As you can see from the screenshot below, the music is played in a pop-up window, and a display ad is run as a footer there. There is probably a revenue share arrangement between the music licensee and Google. Remember that in case of songs that were being played at Songs.pk via Guruji, there were similar ads. Only, this music is legal, and like Guruji was doing, it is being hosted and played from the someone elses site.

The impending launch of the service had been reported by WSJ yesterday. What’s particularly interesting about this service, is that Google still has a case pending resolution with record label T-Series, for (alleged) copyright infringement on YouTube. T-Series has licensed content to In.com and Saavn, and Google is now indirectly monetizing T-Series content through its partnership with these entities. What will T-Series do now? And how will this monetization of content by Google impact settlement talks or even the court case between T-Series and Google?

Update: the other thing worth noting is that Saavn has positioned itself as a search engine for music, and has also partnered with Google Music India; perhaps it’s more keen on increasing monetization by improving distribution, than trying to use exclusivity to attract an audience. Not sure if it has a choice, really.

Related:
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