Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been working to develop its music library for its Google Play service, to go along with movie and television streaming, to enhance the experience for its millions of Android smartphone users that don’t have access to iTunes by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and have had to look to Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) for a good amount of content. It is hard to tell how much Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been impacted in its revenue by a lack of musical choice in its Play store compared to Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), but after a highly disappointing earnings report earlier this month, it sure would seem that any move to entice Android users to utilize the Google Play store after Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) would be a boost for Google Inc. (GOOG) and its investors, like billionaire fund manager David Tepper of Appaloosa Management LP.
And after a long dance with one of the major international music labels – and perhaps the most reluctant to license its artists’ work for digital streaming – Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) very quietly posted what amounts to a huge deal, as it signed a licensing contract with Warner Music Group to bring its massive catalog of music and artists to the Play music service for Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android users. This now rounds out a very full digital mp3 library for Android users, as WMG accounts for about 15 percent of the world’s recorded music market – which includes current hits as well as past. How big a deal is this? Warner was the last major label to sign on to the popular Spotify service, and Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) launched its music service about a year ago with no Warner Music – which includes artists like Madonna, Green Day, Neil Young and Red Hot Chili Peppers, among others.
In a Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) company blog post, senior vice president Andy Rubin wrote, “We’re now working with all of the major record labels globally, and all the major U.S. magazine publishers, as well as many independent labels, artists and publishers.” This should go a long way to helping Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) increase traffic to its Play store for music and provide some competition with Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and its expanding music library. There is no indication at this point, however, when the Warner Music Group catalog will be fully available for purchase and download, though Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) did announce that its music store will be available in western Europe in the middle of November.